This FaceBook post by Allison Cook (@alisoncookphd) took the words out of my mouth so well that I just had to share it here. Rarely have I found someone that is sharp and articulate about the God of Grace and the healing process. If you haven’t already, I recommend you check her out.
Honestly, one of the things that gets to me most is when someone’s sense of God has been dimmed or distorted because of the crummy representations of God given by misguided, abusive religious leaders, parents, authority figures, or others. (I think it gets to God, too. Matthew 18:6).
I see it all the time in my work. The process of healing a spiritual wound is not for the faint of heart. It’s hard to face those wounds. It’s hard to trust that the God you got served is not the God of the Universe. It’s not an easy journey.
If you’re struggling with pain as a result of religious wounding – if someone misrepresented God to you through toxic actions or words – please know you are not alone.
It can feel like you are the only one. Religious words and practices that everyone else seems to roll with, may bring up uncomfortable, angry, or painful feelings for you.
It’s OK. Just notice those feelings and be gentle with yourself as you do. It doesn’t mean you don’t love God. In fact, it’s the opposite. Pay attention when you react to toxic messaging. Hurt parts of you are showing up on need of your care. And, that right there is downright heroic.
It can take time.
It can be messy.
Other people might not get it.
But Grace does its work. I promise you.
Naming can feel vulnerable. And, it is the first step toward freeing. #soulmending
I will be writing about this topic in more detail in my own book. The changing of my mind to who Jesus and God was liberated the way to receive much more than anyone thought.
God is exceeding and abundantly more you can ask or think (Eph 2:20).
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32)
I want to say emphatically that God didn’t send the COVID virus to teach the world a lesson. The virus either was manufactured by sinful men, or it mutated in a fallen world. But none of this caught God by surprise, and He already has plans for redemption and kingdom purposes in the midst of this. Instead of thinking God is a vengeful God and licking our wounds, we should be going to God and take part in what He is trying to purpose through this. God cannot place his wrath on the Jesus-believing Christian. He might allow sickness of the world or sinful people to disturb him, but God is not going to curse the Christian on purpose. All of God’s judgment of all their sins was exhausted on Jesus’ sacrifice, present and future. Many religious say that God is a “holy and consuming fire” he must punish sin!
I AGREE. But because of Jesus, God is holy and righteous to see us as righteous. God must punish, and He punished Jesus. The Bible says we were crucified with Christ, and raised with Him. If you teach God can still apply his wrath on us, then you insult not me, but you insult the price paid by my savior Jesus. My Jesus is more than all that. Jesus is an overpayment for my sin. Such religious teaching makes us feel that Jesus is a partial payment, and somehow, I got to earn the rest. How can anyone have the “peace that surpasses all understanding” (Phil 4:7-8) if there is always a hidden threat of divine wrath? Wouldn’t that make me second guess all the time if I should come before God? Or whether He has an insidious plan to destroy me? Verily no. The peace that surpasses all understanding is only possible when we know we are completely over-forgiven because we get much more than what we deserve. Not only does God forgive our sins and our conscience can rest, He even supplies ALL our needs for every good work. That’s why we celebrate Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
We have the ultimate safety net, so to speak. We can be brave, conquer life and risk doing good works despite the threat of people not reciprocating in a fair manner.
Few things irritate me more than people who belittle my Savior’s sacrifice for me.
And for people that say to look at the example of Job what suffered unfairly are totally missing the point. You are not Job. Job is a picture of Jesus. Job was described by God himself as, “there is no one like him”, “the greatest man in the east” and “blameless”. At the end of the book of Job, God himself said that Job “had not spoken wrongly of me.” Job was meant to be a picture of JESUS. Job’s ignorant and self-righteous friends are a picture of US. God allowed curses on Job, so that Job could be promoted to go from a king, to a king and priest, so that Job’s friends had to go through Job for atonement.
Take it from me, a modern-day Job that suffered unimaginably for 20 years. I’ve been pondering on the book of Job for years. Once I realized everything is about Jesus, it opens the way for grace to do it’s transformative work in all aspects of our lives, including healing. We can stop blaming people, God and ourselves; and focus on cooperating with God to regain all that was stolen.
Take care all of you. Easter is coming. I used to think that it was “just” a tradition. Today I realize it’s the source of real power to heal, to forgive, to not give up, to change ourselves, and to change the world.
God bless you,
Love Gifts: If these posts have blessed you and you would like to send a love gift or tithe, please click here: paypal.me/kennethwkkoh. Do also send an email to letterstoamoderndayJob@gmail.com to let us know! We would be so happy to know that you have chosen to sow into this ministry.