Hello, My Name is Church (Re-Blog)

Hello my name is church,

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about me. I have no shortage of critics. Perhaps you have heard that I am…

Boring

Shallow

Cheap

A waste of time

You’ve heard that I am full of

Hypocrites

Clowns

Greedy people

The self- righteous

Maybe you have visited me before and discovered

Horrible music

Passionless singing

Dry preaching

Rude congregants

Maybe you needed me and I was

Too busy

Too “righteous”

Too broke

Too blind

Maybe you joined me and found I was

Distant

Demanding

Dull

Preoccupied

Maybe you tried to serve in me but were caught off guard by

Business meetings

Committees

Teams

Bureaucracy

Maybe you left and were surprised that nobody

Called

Cared

Noticed

Invited you back

Perhaps your experience has driven you to

Speak negatively of me

Swear to never come back to me

Proclaim that no one needs me

Believe you’re better off without me

If this is true, I have something to say to you

I’m sorry

I was wrong

I blew it

I made a huge mistake

But remember, I never said my name was

Perfect

Flawless

Complete

Arrived

My name is church. I welcome the

Hypocrite

Dry

Self-righteous

Shallow

I welcome the

Sincere

Passionate

Forgiving

Selfless

I cannot shut my doors to the people who make you

Angry

Uncomfortable

Impatient

Self-conscious

But I would remind you that we couldn’t always worship in the same room. In the Old Testament there was a division between the

Gentile

Jew

Man

Woman

In order for us to all worship in the same room Christ was

Shamed

Beaten

Killed

Resurrected

Which is far worse than being

Bored

Uncomfortable

Embarrassed

Ignored

So why not come back to church and let all of these messed up people

Challenge you

Sharpen you

Strengthen you

Humble you.

I can’t promise you that the people will be great. This is church. It’s not

Heaven

Paradise

Beulah Land

The Celestial city

Come back.

God wants you here

The body needs you here

The world needs your witness here.

You belong here.

Hello, my name is church

I miss you

I love you

I’m sorry

Can’t wait to see you.

The Unappreciated Pastor

 

Hello my name is church,

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about me. I have no shortage of critics. Perhaps you have heard that I am…

Boring

Shallow

Cheap

A waste of time

 

You’ve heard that I am full of

 

Hypocrites

Clowns

Greedy people

The self- righteous

 

Maybe you have visited me before and discovered

 

Horrible music

Passionless singing

Dry preaching

Rude congregants

 

Maybe you needed me and I was

 

Too busy

Too “righteous”

Too broke

Too blind

 

Maybe you joined me and found I was

 

Distant

Demanding

Dull

Preoccupied

 

Maybe you tried to serve in me but were caught off guard by

 

Business meetings

Committees

Teams

Bureaucracy

 

Maybe you left and were surprised that nobody

 

Called

Cared

Noticed

Invited you back

 

 

Perhaps your experience has driven you to

 

Speak negatively of me

Swear…

View original post 251 more words

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Worthy and Deserving are NOT the Same Thing

Overheard:treasure_gold_hoard_prehistoric_tesoro_de_villena

“I just feel so worthless!”

Perhaps the deepest, most pernicious lie many people believe is that they are “worthless”. The WordNet definition of worthless is, “Lacking in usefulness or value”.

Synonyms offered include despicable, ugly, vile, useless, insignificant, pointless (Yes, I see that hand over there!).

Anyone who has carried around the sense of being worthless has felt all of those things, and more.

But, all of them are lies!

While we may be undeserving of any good thing, deserving and worthy are two very different things.

To be deserving means to have earned something and goes to functional value. Worth, on the other hand, is not about “doing” but about “being”, and goes to essence.

Let me give you an example:

Suppose you have a block of gold sitting on the table in front of you. That block of gold, being gold, has an inherent worth no matter what form or shape it is in. If it is melted down and shaped into a doorstop, its worth is still the same, but its functional and aesthetic value has changed.

That same block of gold melted down into a creamery to use with grandma’s fine chine tea service will have a different functional and aesthetic value, but it is still gold and it still is worth what it was before anything was done to alter it.

Now, we can fashion that gold into a magnificent jewelry ensemble, greatly increasing its functional and aesthetic value, or we can leave it in its rawest from and stuff it under a manure pile. The one thing that does not and will not change is its INHERENT WORTH.

In like manner, when we consider each and every human being on planet earth, we find that each and every person – no matter what they have or have not done – is created in God’s image.

This concept of being bearers of the imago dei goes all the way back to the earliest chapters of the Book of Genesis in the Bible. Three times this phrase appears there, and each time it refers to God’s view of mankind, not mankind’s view of himself.

First we see God creating man in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). Then we see that the children borne of the first man and woman are also considered to be “in the image of God” (Genesis 5:1-3, with 1:26-27 revisited).

The third time we see this phrase is highly significant and points to the sanctity of human life – again from God’s perspective – when God’s institutes capital punishment for murder.

Noah and his family have just departed the ark and God gives them the basic laws they are to live by. Two are brand new: first, from this point on you will be eating meat: don’t eat it raw. Second, ““Whoever sheds human blood, by other humans must his blood be shed; for in God’s image God has made humankind.” (Genesis 9:6)

In the New Testament, Jesus’ half-brother James revisits and intensifies how we are to regard one another when he says, “But no human being can subdue the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse people made in God’s image.” (James 3:8-9)

But this is only the beginning of how we are to understand our inherent worth and value.

In Psalm 8, David muses over how it could possibly be that the Divine Creator of all that exists would have regard for mankind, and –even more significantly – would place His creation in the hands of mankind to steward and to manage.

In Matthew 6, Jesus invests quite a few moments commanding His listeners to not be anxious about any need they have because their Heavenly Father knows all of their needs, just as He does the needs of the birds He provides for, and “you are of far more value than they”.

God also provides beautifully for the grass and flowers, even though, once again, mankind is worth far more and will be provided for even more than they.

Later, Jesus says something else that is significant. In Matthew 16:26, He asks, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”

As far as Jesus is concerned, one person is of more WORTH more than the created world!

In Luke 12:6-7, Jesus declares, “Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.”

The list goes on and on, including how there is rejoicing in heaven when ONE sinner turns from their sinfulness and surrenders to Christ as Savior (Luke 15:7, 10).

This rejoicing comes as a result of the restoration of a lost loved one loved to their rightful and intended place as a future co-inheritor with Jesus and one who will be glorified right along beside Him (Romans 5:1-2, 6, 8, 10; Romans 8:16-17, 28-29).

Remember that block of gold? When we have turned from our ways and surrendered to Him, another change takes place. Our inherent worth is still there, but there is a change in our functional value (2 Corinthians 5:17).

In Ephesians 2:10, we find one of the most beautiful word pictures in all of Scripture that explains: “For we are His masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do the good works He determined long ago would be our way of life.”

Thank of a master artisan, like Michelangelo, crafting a magnificent statue out of a clump of marble. It doesn’t start out very pretty at all, but the end result is a magnificent piece of art. That is the way the word poiema (masterpiece) can be best understood.

What this means is that, instead of getting our sense of worth and value from what we do and how flawlessly we do it, we focus on being who He created us to be and allow the “doing” to flow naturally from the “being”, like ripe fruit falls from a tree.

A peach tree does not have to sit out in the orchard and focus all of its attentions on growing peaches – it simply grows peaches because it IS a peach tree…the “doing” flows naturally from the “being”.

God created us worthy of love, worthy of dignity, worthy of His very best –the sacrifice of His Son in our place – and there is nothing that can change that any more than we can change our DNA from human to any other creature.

Our inherent worth is just as much a part of us as our humanity and it cannot be taken from us. And even if there are those in our life who now deny or have denied us that dignity and worth, it does NOT change the fact that we are inherently worthy of it.

There is more that I will say about this in a future post, but please hold on to the truth that, while we are deserving of no good thing (it cannot be earned), we are fully worthy of God’s BEST (we were created that way!

Soli Deo Gloria

Review and Renew, a New Year’s Celebration

“Stones Of Memorial” – Joshua 4:7, 20-24

As I mulled over the ending of another year this past week, I thought about some of the traditions that surround New Year’s: the New Year’s Eve celebrations, the parties and noisemakers, the countdown to midnight, and the making of New Year’s resolutions.

What is it that we are really celebrating? Is it that we actually made it through another year? Is it that this year is finally over and we get to start fresh with a brand new one? Is it the success that we had in the past twelve months, or the hope for success in the coming twelve?

Coming at the tail-end of the Christmas holidays, there is an almost natural carry-over of the festive spirit. Christmas is wrapped up for another year, and plans are made for ringing in the New Year.

As believers – as followers of Jesus Christ – our approach and reasons for feasting and celebrating are to have a different purpose behind them.

Throughout the Scriptures, God appointed times and prescribed practices for His chosen people to feast and celebrate. There were a few national feasts that the people created themselves. The Feast of Remembrance, also known as the Feast of Lights, and as the Feast of Dedication (Hanukah), is one such feast. It came about during the intertestamental period during the era of the Maccabees. It was a feast that Jesus observed (John 10:22), even though it was not one that God Himself had ordained.

A Syrian ruler named Antiochus Epiphanes (which means “God manifest; called Epimanes by the Jews, which means “madman”) was one of the cruelest rulers of all time. He was ambitious, as well as enterprising, but had a bent toward cruelty bordering on madness. His primary goal was to unite his entire kingdom under Greek culture and civilization (known as Hellenism). To accomplish this, he outlawed the observance of any other religion other than the worship of the gods of Greek mythology.

The Jews were forbidden to observe the Sabbath, prohibited from observing all of the traditional festivals and feast days. It was against the law to read the Law of Moses and all copies of it were to be burned. Every traditional Jewish practice was declared illegal and punishable by death, from circumcision to the Temple sacrifices.  Then, the day came when the first occurrence of the “abomination of desolation” took place.

This type of event was first prophesied by Daniel in Daniel 11:31; 12:11. (Note: Jesus prophesied in Matthew 24:15-16; Mark 13:14; Luke 21:5-7, 20-22, that it would take place again – which it did in 70 AD when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem – and Paul predicts in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 that it will take place one final time at the beginning of the last days of the earth.)

Antiochus sacrificed pigs on the altar of God in the Temple and rededicated the Temple to Zeus, the chief god of the Greeks, and set up a statue of Zeus in the Holy of Holies. The priests were forced to eat the cooked meat of the sacrificed pig, the most unclean of all the unclean animals in Jewish dietary law.

One pious family rebelled, resulting in the revolt of the devout Jews remaining in Judea. Exactly three years to the day after Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated the Temple, Judas Maccabeus, having recaptured Jerusalem, required the loyal priests who remained to cleanse the Holy Place and erect a new altar.

According to Jewish tradition, there was only enough undefiled oil to burn in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil kept burning for eight days. Hanukah occurs about the same time every year as Christmas. This was not a festival or feast that God commanded his people to observe, but one they chose for themselves. They wanted to commemorate and memorialize not only God freeing them from their oppressors, but they wanted to dedicate an entire week to celebrating God in His power personally intervening on their behalf.

In Joshua 4:7, 20-24, we look back to a time when God taught His children to create memorials of His participation in their lives. In this account and the one I just shared about the origins of Hanukah, we see a purposeful examination and review of God’s intervention in their bondage and rescue from that bondage, as well as establishing a way to remember and pass on the continuing work of His power in their lives and the lives of their progeny.

I want to give each of you a small bag of polished stones this evening. You can keep them any place that you like. My hope is that they will serve as a reminder to you of the freedom that you now have through Jesus Christ from your former bondage, and as a continuing reminder of the power of God still at work in your life and carrying you into the coming year.

What do you remember about where God brought you from? Do you look back, lean back, or go back to those places or things or mind-sets? The Children of Israel did so frequently; God knew this, knew that it was a tendency of the humans He had created to fall back sometimes, to want to actually go back sometimes. He knew it was our tendency sometimes to return to old behaviors and attitudes, just because it was what we knew best, not because we knew it was His best.

God knew that we needed tangible proofs in front of us to keep His plan and His provision at the forefront of our vision, instead of the hurts and failing of the past. He knew that we would need something that we could look at or hold in our hands that would help anchor our hopes on Jesus Christ our Rock and that would cause us to behave in ways that created questions in the minds of those who come after us.

Over a dozen feasts and festivals celebrated regularly, dozens of memorial constructed, all with the goal of celebrating who God is, what He has done, how He has done it, why He has done it, and what our response is to be because of it all.

The Children of Israel – except for Joshua and Caleb – had never been in the Promised Land before. They had never seen it; they had only heard about it. Walking into an uncertain future can be frightening, it can be rife with difficulty; it can seem impossible – that is, unless you have a solid faith in God.

It is still common for God to desire to lead us into a land of promise – oh, not necessarily like the “land flowing with milk and honey’ that the Hebrew children entered into. But, sometimes it takes the same level of faith to put our feet into the rushing water and believe what God has said instead of what we can see with our own eyes in order to follow the One who died for us to lead us into that land of promise where the bondage of our past no longer compel us. We need memorials to see where He has been with us and how in order to have a clearer vision of our future.

What will your memorial be about? Of what are you free of that you need reminding? What hope for the future do you need to keep in focus? What has God done in your life that you have reason to celebrate and worship Him for? What reminders do you need to help keep you on the path that God has laid before you?

This is your chance to begin a new year in a new and fresh way.

Celebrate, memorialize, dedicate…God will be in the midst of it all.

 

 

Confused by Confusion

Overheard:

“I’m always a little confused by my own mind …”

Sitting in abuse healing groups week in and week out over the years, I have heard this said – or some variation of it – hundreds of times.

As a survivor, I’ve experienced it myself, so I get it: sometimes your own mind can be the most confusing place to find yourself.

We seek truth, yet we shy away from it. We want to know, but we feel better off not knowing. We want to understand, but some of the pieces necessary for that seem to be missing.

On top of that, when we are high-functioning in at least one area of our life, the confusion confuses us: “Why am I so confused so often, and why can’t I figure this out? I do so well (in whatever area of life I am high functioning), yet I suck here.”

One of the reasons for this kind of confusion is that there is a part of us that has learned to survive by keeping the deepest truths in the shadows.

If what we believe to be true about ourselves is indeed true, then we are even worse that we believe ourselves to be. That would then means that we are beyond help and there is no hope because all of this evil that happened is about our “being”, and not about somebody’s “doing”.

And the village of “Shame-filled Hopelessness” is the worst place in the world to live.

The remedy to the problem is simple but is also one of the hardest for survivors of abuse: The safest place to be is the scariest place to be, and that is leaning into and walking through the junkyard of the painful memories of your life, seeing them as they truly were and not as what they have come to look like.

What that means is that we learn to re-examine the hurtful things that have happened and, instead of thinking, “When ‘so-and-so’ did ‘such-and-such’ to me, it wasn’t because there was ‘something so wrong with me’, but ‘there was something really wrong with them that they would do this to any child, including me.'”

We get these things into the light where God’s power is activated and released, out of the darkness and the shadows where our Enemy lurks and works. W don;t do this alone, but we pursue the truth because THAT is where our freedom really lies.

Yes, it is scary. The fears we have are real fears. But we have to remember that, while feelings are real, feelings ARE NOT FACT!

Feelings change; facts do not.

When we learn to see things for what they were instead of what they have come to look like, the truth shines through and the confusion clears. We learn to file things in the right folders, put proper names on things, and call things what they are.

Jesus’ promise that, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32) is never more true for a survivor than here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria

Forgiveness — Part 4

Overheard:

“But aren’t we supposed to forgive, forget, and move on?”

In Part 1 of this series on Forgiveness, I outlined how we have arrived at such a fractured and unbiblical view of what forgiveness is and is not as we have in the church and society-at-large today.

In Part 2, I discussed the foundational aspect of forgiveness. The first of the three types of forgiveness in the human experience is JUDICIAL FORGIVENESS, which is God’s alone to provide.

In Part 3, I described the second type of forgiveness as INTERNAL FORGIVENESS. This is the one we are responsible for.

The third and last type of forgiveness we want to discuss is the one that is most misunderstood and misapplied: RELATIONAL FORGIVENESS. This is the level of forgiveness where the restoration of relationship can take place in a manner that is both Biblical and safe.

RELATIONAL FORGIVENESS

Relational Forgiveness occurs when the one offended can trust that the offender will most likely not reoffend.

Since offenses can fall anywhere along a broad spectrum of sinfulness and resultant evil suffered, it is helpful to us if we can have God’s mind about when and how to properly be restored in relationship to someone who has wronged us.

As we have seen in my earlier posts on this subject, confession and repentance go together – two sides to the same coin, as it were.

Relational Forgiveness is conditional upon our repentance (repentance – turning and traveling in the opposite direction).  You cannot have one without the other.  (See Matthew 3:8; Ephesians 4:28).

It is not just a change of behavior; it is the heart attitude behind it. This heart-change is required in order to be transformed and for old toxic, sinful behaviors to be replaced with fruitful, righteous behaviors.

True change is NOT a matter of behavior modification alone. If one’s heart isn’t in it, the “change” is temporary at best.

Just as we have to wait for an apple tree to produce fruit for from 3 – 5 years after it is planted, so it takes time to see the fruit of authentic repentance.

Someone saying, “I’m sorry,” is not confession, neither is it repentance – nor has there been any time for fruit to develop. Someone saying, “I’m really, really sorry,” is neither confession nor repentance either.

A helpful parallelism for understanding the contrast between the prerequisites for Internal Forgiveness and the prerequisites for Relational Forgiveness (reunion) can be found in Lewis Smedes’, The Art of Forgiving:

It takes one person to forgive. It takes two to be reunited.

Forgiving happens inside the wounded person. Reunion happens in a relationship between people.

We can forgive a person who never says he is sorry. We cannot be truly reunited unless he is honestly sorry.

We can forgive even if we do not trust the person who wronged us once not to wrong us again. Reunion can happen only if we can trust the person who wronged us once not to wrong us again.

Forgiving has no strings attached. Reunion has several strings attached.

If we enter into Relational Forgiveness with a person before we see the fruit of repentance, we often actually get in the way of the work that God desires to do in that person.

Are they denying the wrong? They are unrepentant.

Are they rationalizing or justifying the wrong? They are unrepentant.

Are they minimizing, blame-shifting, or scapegoating? Again, then they are unrepentant.

A contrite heart – a heart that recalls the raunchiness and effect of one’s sin – underlies true confession and repentance. Contrition means a heart that is broken over the sin committed and the evil another has suffered as a result.

Do you feel a sense of repentance from someone who does not have a sense of contrition? Not if you understand repentance, you don’t. And for those who have experienced abuse, a lack of contrition on the part of the offender is the NORM when it comes to being unrepentant.

The Need of the Offender

God has an intention and purpose for every life: in every case, God’s desire is for each person to be reconciled to Him.   That reconciliation requires confession and repentance (See Part 2).

Confession and repentance, in turn, require a conviction that what we have done has violated God’s moral code and that we are accountable for it; authentic confession and repentance do not come because we simply wish to avoid consequences.

Entering Relational Forgiveness illegitimately often alleviates the process of the offending party having to face most or all consequence for their evil and, hence, the catalyst for authentic confession and repentance is absent. That puts us between that person and God and weakens their ability to be aware of Him.

  • Q. Why would we oppose God’s best?
  • A. Only because, some place in our heart, we believe God’s agenda is defective and our agenda supersedes His.

If we are willing to allow our offender to live out consequences for their offense, we clear the way for God to work in them – and we may get to witness God work in their life in a real and powerful way.  There then arises a very real possibility for a safe, God-honoring relationship to develop that will become good and healthy instead of ungodly and abusive.

When you really grasp this, you will see that you are not responsible to forgive based on others’ expectations of you.  God not only doesn’t expect, He doesn’t allow for us to enter into Relational Forgiveness in certain situations.  When there is no repentance or fruit in keeping with repentance, God makes no provision for Relational Forgiveness.

To expect and to teach abuse survivors that they must “forgive. forget, and move on” is not only grossly in error, the result is a retraumatizing of the victim. We have no business doing that: it makes us as guilty as the original offender.

In Summary

There can be no comprehensive forgiveness unless we understand and process the sin that has been committed and the effects of it on us, as well as our sin responses to it. Remember: Internal Forgiveness and Relational Forgiveness are NOT one and the same thing.

It’s important to continue to remember and to reinforce in our hearts:

  1. One type of forgiveness (Judicial) has nothing to do with us; it is God’s alone.
  2. The second type of forgiveness (Internal) is our responsibility, and is accomplished with God’s help.  Internal and Relational Forgiveness are not synonymous.  One doesn’t necessarily lead to the other.
  3. God does not expect us to forgive relationally until the offending party has done their part.  The restoration of relationship is not a simple affair and needs to be handled according to God’s economy for it to be God-honoring, safe, and healthy.
  4. Unless and until the offender has confessed, repented, and borne fruit in keeping with repentance, we are neither required nor allowed to enter into Relational Forgiveness.

 

Once again my heartfelt thanks to Dr. Steven Tracy for his powerful book, Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse. Of all of the tools I have used over the last 26-plus years, this one (in conjunction with the workbook by Steve’s wife Celestia) is by far the most theologically robust and scientifically sound material available to those who counsel abuse and neglect survivors.

Forgiveness — Part 3

Overheard:

“But aren’t we supposed to forgive, forget, and move on?”

In Part 1 of this series on Forgiveness, I outlined how we have arrived at such a fractured and unbiblical view of what forgiveness is and is not.

In Part 2, I discussed the foundational aspect of forgiveness. The first of the three types of forgiveness in the human experience is JUDICIAL FORGIVENESS.

The second type of forgiveness is INTERNAL FORGIVENESS, and this is the one we are responsible for.

Internal Forgiveness

This level of forgiveness is almost impossible unless we have already gone to God and received His (Judicial) forgiveness.

That provides the seed-bed for us to forgive others. If we don’t have that foundation of God’s forgiveness of us as the foundation for our own forgiveness of others, in practice we end up setting our own standards for forgiveness.

What happens is we almost can’t help expecting those people to live up to a standard for forgiveness that we have set in our own heart. We may even be able to rationally explain why our stance on what it will take for us to forgive. But if we have not gone to God and been forgiven in Christ, we have only human standards to work from.

Then it becomes between them and us and not them and God.  I have to be able to say that it is between them and God to live up to His standard; not between them and me for them to live up to my standard.

When we are living in unforgiveness, it is like carrying a backpack full of sharp, jagged rocks. We tote them around and, while we may learn to live with the pain and discomfort, our life lacks joy and God’s peace.

When we are able to forgive, we remove those jagged rocks and hand them over to God.  We walk away from them and leave them where they belong. When we walk in unforgiveness, we are trying to bear something that is not ours to bear.  Let that person be God’s business, not yours.  Romans 12:19:  Leave room for the wrath of God (“Leave it to Me,” says God).

Internal Forgiveness is NOT “forgive, forget, move on, and leave myself open to be misused/abused all over again.”

Internal Forgiveness is where I no longer demand or expect revenge or retribution for the wrong done to me. It is not me declaring my offender, “Not guilty!” It is me declaring my offender “Responsible to God for what you have done.”

I can do this without being face-to-face with my offender; I can do this with someone who has passed on to their exit interview and who I will not see again in this life. I can do this to someone present in my life, or someone from my past.

By entering into Internal Forgiveness, I am the one who is released from the event(s) that took place. I am not responsible or accountable for the wrongs of another – I am only responsible for what I DO with what others have done to me.

This is connected to Judicial Forgiveness in that both are precursors to the third and final type of forgiveness (which we will examine in the upcoming Part 4), “Relational Forgiveness”.

As we learned in Part 2, God is the only one who can extend JUDICIAL FORGIVENESS. As we learned today in Part 3, we are the only one who is responsible for INTERNAL FORGIVENESS. Next time we will see that the offending party has the greatest amount of responsibility and work to do in RELATIONAL FORGIVENESS being extended.

 

Forgiveness – Part 2

Overheard:

“But aren’t we supposed to forgive, forget, and move on?”

In Part 1 of this series on Forgiveness, I outlined how we have arrived at such a fractured and unbiblical view of what forgiveness is and is not.

In Part 2, I want to discuss the foundational aspect of forgiveness. The first of the three types of forgiveness in the human experience is JUDICIAL FORGIVENESS.

(Special thanks to Dr. Steven R. Tracy for his helpful paradigm in Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse.)

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