I was sitting down with a friend recently, and he was talking through some current relationship struggles he’s having. As I tried to encourage him and help him get to the root of the problems, we discovered that the real issue wasn’t in his present relationships, but in unresolved wounds from his past relationships. Old hurts can haunt us if we don’t deal with them.
Whenever we feel rejection, abandonment, ridicule, heartbreak or pain from other people, it can cause us to build up walls around our hearts to protect ourselves from being hurt again. These walls give us the illusion of security, but they’re really just a prison of isolation. Living well means loving well, and loving well requires healing from past hurts.
To work through wounds from your past, start by making these three choices:
1. Choose grace instead of revenge
It’s been said that holding a grudge is like drinking poison and then hoping the other person dies. Choose to forgive for their sake, but even more, for your own sake. God freely gives his grace to you, so embrace it and then freely give it to others. Don’t treat people the way they treat you. Treat people the way God treats you.
“Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone… Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good” Romans 12:17-18, 21
2. Choose to trust in God’s plan instead of your own.
When the Biblical character, Joseph, was sold into slavery by his own brothers, he had plenty of reasons for doubt and anger, but he chose faith instead. Joseph was promoted from a slave to a great political leader. He could have executed his brothers, but he chose grace instead. He recognized that God’s plan and God’s grace is always bigger than our circumstances. Joseph said these powerful words to his brothers…
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them.” Genesis 50:20-21
For more tools to help you build (or rebuild) stronger relationships, download a FREE chapter from my new book “The 7 Laws of Love: Essential Principles for Building Stronger Relationships” by clicking here.
3. Choose joy instead of bitterness.
Bitterness is intoxicating, because it gives you the illusion of power and control over your life, but it’s toxic in the end. Get rid of bitterness and choose joy. Joy isn’t a feeling; it’s a choice. It comes from trusting God even when life doesn’t seem to make sense and thanking God for His goodness even when life hurts.
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
In the end, choosing grace could change your life and the world around you.
For more tools to build stronger relationships, download a FREE chapter from my new book here.
Also, check out our FREE video on the 7 keys to building stronger relationships by clicking here.
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