Does time really heal all wounds?

I spoke to a young guy today and we talked about what he’s been going through lately.

No matter how we try to commiserate with another person, it still is difficult to fully understand what they’re going through because of context, background, past experiences and current circumstance.

The pat answer to a person hurting is this very statement: “Time heals all wounds.”

Does it really?

Two quick thoughts about this…

1. DECISION.

Forgiveness is a decision more than a feeling.  This is where the principle of “motion-emotion” gets into play. I know people who have never been able to forgive for decades because they just simply haven’t felt like forgiving the person who offended them.  For some, the person has been in the grave for years and yet forgiveness has yet to be released.

I realize that people will say, “You’ll never understand until what he did happens to you.”

Granted.

However, you still have to face the fact that everytime you hear his/her name, or see him/her in the mall, your day is ruined.

Deciding is never easy but it is well worth the effort.

I know. I’ve done it a few times. Email me and I can write you back and tell you the stories of times when I’ve had to decide to forgive.

Bitterness kills.

It’s like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.

Decide to let go of the hurt, the pain and the offense.

2. JESUS.

Letting go of the hurt, the pride and the offense is a supernatural work.

Forgiving is letting the person off the hook and resolve to not bring it up again.

Now, THAT is not easy.

That is why I said “Jesus.” He is the One who can give grace to forgive.

Only when we realize how much we have been forgiven is the time when we can choose to let go and forgive others.

That is the GOSPEL – understanding the magnitude of my debt and the greatness of His provision.

He loved me inspite of me.  He chose to die for me despite my actions toward Him.

Because of that, since I have freely received, I am able to freely give.

Will time heal all wounds?

It will help but it is when we decide and let Jesus cover our situation with His grace can we truly, truly experience freedom through forgiveness.

I tucked my kids to bed a few minutes ago.

Two of them had an argument because one said something hurtful towards another.

The easiest thing to do is to tell one to ask for forgiveness and for the other one to acknowledge and forgive. Then life moves on.

I’ve done that so many times.

But tonight, we tried to get to the heart of the behavior.

Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) says, “Guard your heart above all else for it determines the course of your life.”

It is the heart that drives behavior.

I asked both, “When you are mean towards one another, what is really going on? What is the heart of the issue?”

I asked that question because when one is hurt, s/he will try to retaliate to make the other feel his/her hurt.

We talked about the root of the behavior. It really is PRIDE.

“Because I got hurt, I will try to make you feel my pain by hurting you back.”

We don’t articulate this, but in effect, it is what we actually end up doing.

2 QUICK THOUGHTS:

1. As parents, it is good to not just ‘fix the problem’ and then move on. Telling them to go to their room is probably the simplest way to do it. But it doesn’t solve the heart issue. It actually worsens if unresolved.

2. Unfortunately, this type of thing doesn’t just happen to kids. It happens to adults as well… all the time. We retaliate when we get hurt.

Hurt people hurt people. But free people free people.

Lord, teach us to see the folly of our behavior and go beyond the surface to check out the heart issue. When we see the real issue, that’s when we can go to you and ask for grace to overcome. In and of ourselves, it is virtually and absolutely impossible. Yet your grace is more than sufficient.