“Healing comes when we see ourselves in those who hurt us…” – Mark McMinn, Ph.D.
Wow! I love this.
This isn’t necessarily speaking to the reconciliation of a relationship (especially not the same “kind” of relationship), but it is simply speaking of the fact that (1) we all have the potential for evil, (2) we have all caused hurt on *some* level, and (3) we all have our own context (psychologically, culturally, etc.) that influences our minds and hearts and how we make decisions.
This doesn’t necessarily mean the person who hurt us is justified in causing or allowing the harm or that the relationship is restored. It simply means that because of mercy and humility (and potentially a literal lifetime of God’s grace), the victim can find some level of peace.
I don’t pretend that’s all there is to say regarding forgiveness or that it’s easy or always possible, but I’m simply saying that seeing the humanity in EVERYONE is a beautiful and healing thing.
Who’s your Judas?
My Judas was a 15-year-old boy who I had to spend the night with when I was 8 years old. I didn’t know what was happening, and I didn’t know how much it would mess me up. But it did.
My Judas was a grandparent who decided she didn’t care about us anymore because my dad wanted to build a relationship with his long-lost father. She was my only friend.
My Judas was bullies at school who would make fun of me for being fat and then make fun of me for being skin and bones a year later. I still struggle with my weight and confidence.
My Judas was the cultic and legalistic understanding of Jesus that I was unintentionally taught by people who love me and love God. I think I believed what they taught me more than they believed it.
My Judas was the 33-year-old youth minister of my first serious girlfriend, who took advantage of her and another girl and made them feel special. He really changed how I saw God, ministry, love, and myself.
My Judas is bipolar disorder and anxiety that influenced me to be something other than what I want to be and caused me to be suicidal. I’m just now starting to see who I really am.
My Judas is me. I’ve hurt people in unspeakable ways that I cannot forgive myself for, nor do I know how to seek forgiveness. I have judged myself to a burning hell every.single.day.
But oh, my Jesus, He has a way of turning our enemies into our friends. I can’t do that. It will literally take something supernatural for me to fully reconcile with those who hurt me. And I’m sure there are people who feel that way about me. Maybe you can think of some people like that? Jesus said that “those who are forgiven of much love much.”
Don’t look at reconciliation and forgiveness as the same thing. See them separately, and see them both as a process of grace. Don’t forget that, as much as it is healthy in your particular circumstances, we should see ourselves in those who hurt us. – Jesse