Day 10 - Healing Relationships
21 DAY CHALLENGE
THROUGH THE HOLIDAY
This week we are renewing our minds regarding relationships. Oftentimes, the holidays bring up conflict or unresolved issues with family members or friends that we encounter during holiday celebrations.
Sometimes these unresolved issues or hurts from the past are unwelcome reminders that we have not fully given these difficult relationships or wounds from our past over to the ONLY ONE who can really heal us.
Perhaps we just need to confess that we are holding a grudge or nursing an offense that we need to let go of, forgive someone for, or ask for forgiveness ourselves so we can allow God to repair the relationship. Other times, the pain of our past goes much deeper than that, when forgiveness is harder to grant, as in issues of verbal, physical, or even sexual abuse.
The holidays can be particularly difficult times to navigate painful relationships of many kinds. Let’s allow God to have His way in our lives in these areas. Let’s ask Him to redeem, restore, and give us HIS love for the people in our lives that have hurt us.
This is a perfect opportunity to use Truth Journaling and ask God to transform us through the renewing of our minds with His truth:
I’ll get us started:
I get anxious around the holidays because I must spend time with a family member that has hurt me in the past and continues to hurt me every time we are together. I have a hard time being around him and showing him love because he constantly puts me down and says hurtful things, seemingly just to get a reaction out of me. It ruins the holidays for me. I know I am supposed to love him, but I have a really hard time getting past my hurt feelings and finding a way to show him, love.
1. I get anxious around the holidays thinking about spending time with this family member. (T)
a. I do get anxious and don’t look forward to these times. However, I can pray about this in advance and ask God to help.
(I Peter 5:7) Cast all your anxiety upon Him because He cares for you.
2. I have a hard time being around him and showing him love. (T)
a. It is difficult for me to love this family member. But I don’t have to do it on my own. I know that God commands us to love one another, so it IS possible for me to love this person. I can ask God to give me HIS love for him.
(John 13:34) - A new command I give you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (Ephesians 4:31-32) – Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
3. It ruins the holidays for me (F)
a. The holidays are much more than this one difficult relationship. I can focus on the wonderful parts of the holidays, of which there are many. I can choose not to let this one relationship color everything I love about our family holiday celebrations. When I focus on forgiving this person the way God has forgiven me, it takes his power away and keeps me from being bothered when he is unkind. Maybe I can even ask God to show me the good qualities of this person and focus on those instead of just thinking about how he hurts my feelings.
(Phil 4:8) – Finally, brothers and sisters whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. (Matthew 6:14) – For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly father will also forgive you. (Matthew 5:44) – But I say to you, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!
My loving, heavenly Father; You are so good to me. You have forgiven me so much. Please help me to forgive this difficult family member. You love him. Show me how to love and forgive him just as you have loved and forgiven me. Help me to focus on all the things that are good and true and pure and noble and right and pure and admirable about this person so that I can release my own hurt and pain around this relationship. I pray that you will bless him and heal the wounds inside his heart that cause him to lash out at me. Thank you that I can love him with the love You have for him, in your power, Lord. I pray that you will restore this relationship and bring healing. Forgive me for any bitterness I have harbored against this man. Right now, I put away any bitterness, wrath, anger, or malice against him, and ask you to fill my heart with only love for him. In the powerful name of Jesus, I pray these things expectantly, believing that what I ask, I will receive. Amen!
Wow! I am already feeling better about facing this person this holiday season. My confidence that I can approach this relationship differently this year is in Christ, knowing that as I have been forgiven much, I can freely forgive.
Now it’s time for you to Truth Journal in the comments below. Do you have a difficult relationship that you need to ask God to restore? He can and He will!