Monday, February 4, 2008

Forgiveness

This is our biggest lesson. What can you do about this? What I mean is, there is this pastor who is the head of the Toronto church where the Toronto Blessing has happened. Every time I have met and talked to him, though I have tried to project positive things, and shared how much I've learned and gotten out of the church's revival, he has always seemed to point out the need to forgive, like that's all he sees in me for some reason. I haven't been able to handle it. Every time it has ministered condemnation, so it has left me frustrated and I've not gotten free.

See, I was frustrated because I had already read his book on forgiveness and had been allowing God to show me the need to forgive, and whenever it came up I was dealing with it. What more can I do? I can only do what the Holy Spirit enables me to do. With His power, with his revelation I can come to terms with un-forgiveness in my heart, but not by any other means.

Yet, I am trying to hear what God might be saying. I always get too introspective and get under condemnation. I have to be careful. Yet, I want to know. Do I have bitterness and un-forgiveness that hasn't been dealt with, and to some great degree that I can't even see?

Now, get this! A visiting speaker at that church got up and made the statement that people who have mental illness are 99% walking in un-forgiveness. 99% of their mental illness is un-forgiveness. OK, so tell me why it is that every person who is unforgiving didn't have a manic-depressive episode that exploded at 18 - the usual beginning for a manic-depressive? It's because manic-depression is a disease of the tissues of the brain!

Once again, it's the Job syndrome. Accusations are coming to an afflicted person that they have sinned, thus they have a certain disease! I imagine that this pastor believes what that speaker said.

Unfortunately, as good as the Toronto blessing has been, I have to say that I can see abuse in it too. People, there has been abuse in the church! People have gone to get healed by the power of Christ and have found abuse!

I feel abused by this pastor. He has never let me alone on this forgiveness issue, and I have shared with him that I have struggled with manic-depression. Oops! Forgiveness. I need to forgive him - ha! Actually, I hadn't even thought of that, because I'm sure there's some truth in what he's saying. And I was thinking I need to talk to him about this some time.

3 comments:

Lea said...

Hi Gabrielle,

The visiting speaker said 99% of people who are mentally ill are "walking in unforgiveness"? Did I read that right? That sounds ridiculous, and suggests to me the speaker has little knowledge about mental illness and little understanding of and compassion for those with mental illness. Perhaps the best thing to do is to write him or her off as uninformed.

Regarding the Toronto pastor, maybe he has an issue with unforgiveness and that's why he sees it so often in others.

I think the message of Jesus was one of radical forgiveness and love. I do think that forgiving frees us from attachments to negative thoughts and emotions. Forgiving doesn't mean forgetting; it doesn't produce amnesia. Depending on the harm that has been done to us, forgiving can be very difficult. I've been very fortunate in that nobody's ever done anything really horrendous to me that I couldn't forgive. Perhaps forviging means letting go of the negative junk that keeps coming up when we don't forgive. And we need to forgive ourselves, too.

Just my rambling thoughts :)

Lea

Bill Graver said...

Having gone through a really ugly divorce a few years ago, I've had to learn the lesson on forgiveness. I struggled mightily with bitterness and resentment. Still do, occasionally.

I can say, though, that Jesus showed me a better way. He says things like, "Bless those who curse you," "pray for those who insult you," & "do good to those who hate you."

I think the key to battling bitterness is to go out of your way to do something tangible for the one who hurt you. Pray for them, bless them, serve them. I've found that when I focus on serving I start to lose the feelings of anger.

Gabrielle Eden said...

Thanks Lea and Bill,

I really appreciate the thoughts!

Yes, Lea, you are reading that right. And you're right, Lea. The Toronto pastor has some issue with unforgiveness.

The problem is, because he has come down so hard on me, it has produced frustration, even rebellion, because I think, "I've been trying really hard. I've been doing what God wants and you're saying it's not good enough!"

The thing is, his church has been awesome and he has been awesome. I have put him on this pedestal. His church has been a place of freedom. But then, if I had stuck around long enough (I was only a visitor) maybe it would have been a different story.

I have met people there who have mental health issues who said they weren't getting free. Oh well. He's not perfect, right?

And Bill, thanks for your serving heart!

And Lea -yeh, I have a hard time being kind enough to myself to forgive myself.