What do you struggle with in life? I do not know, but I know what you mean when you tell me that people don’t really like you. I think we all have had a situation in life where we got hurt. Or maybe you are that thick skinned that you do not even realise it.
But where do these feelings come from? Maybe like most people, you made a suggestion to solve a problem and your suggestion was disregarded as being totally illogical or something like that. A lot of people might not even remember why, as you are not interested any longer. Or maybe it has always been like it, ever since you can remember. You are just the black sheep of the family.
Maybe you are in rebellion, as you never get the attention you feel you are entitled to. Maybe your parents are divorced and you got hurt in the process, or maybe you were ill treated by your parents or even your stepparents. Maybe your spouse is rejecting you, or the kids.
We can write down all these reasons why we have these feelings, but I actually want to give you some advice on how to overcome these feelings, doesn’t matter what they are.
The first step is to identify the root cause for this feeling. I would define that as the first time you became aware of this feeling. Maybe it happened while you were playing rugby as a youngster and your dad shouted at you not to drop the ball again. Maybe it was when you realised that you were not welcome. Maybe you find that it happened while your mother was expecting you and said that they didn’t really plan on having you yet. That is the first step. If you cannot find it, ask the LORD to show you. The Holy Spirit will guide you to that moment. It might mean that you have to open up old wounds that you do not want to open. Fortunately once these wounds are open, healing can take place.
The second step in the process is to forgive those who caused this wound. You might say that it is impossible to forgive someone who molested you as a baby, but Jesus declared that we have to forgive seventy times seven times a day. I have been there, and know that it is not easy. In fact, it is the most difficult thing I had to do for years. But it is necessary, as I also have to receive forgiveness from the LORD for my inequities. The prayer Jesus taught His disciples state that I will receive forgiveness as I forgive those who sinned against me. If I cannot forgive, how can I receive forgiveness from the LORD?
My wife Hettie was a full time Christian counsellor for many years, and gave people a pen and paper to use to draw the face of the person that caused this hurt. The person could then tell the picture exactly what they had stored up inside of them. They could deface this picture, as they wanted. What she found was that after such a session, people could actually forgive the ones that caused the hurt. I am not saying that the offender became the person’s best friend, no, but the feeling of hatred or rejection was gone.
Another method I use is to go for a walk. I will then find a church building with a cross in the garden, and stretch myself out before this cross. I will then physically act out taking the hurt from my inner being, and putting it down at the feet of the cross. I will then physically act out taking my forgiveness from the cross. Jesus told us to put our burdens on Him, and then to receive His forgiveness. This might sound and look very funny, but it works for me. I know people might think that I am completely mad lying down before the cross on the grass. It doesn’t bother me, as I know that I receive forgiveness.
If we look at the Tabernacle of Moses, the sequence of events also followed this pattern. The high priest had to first offer up a sacrifice for his own sins on the brazen altar, and then washed himself with the blood of the lamb before he could risk appearing in the holiest of hollies before the presence of the LORD. That is what we have to do. We first have to receive forgiveness ourselves, and that can only happen when I forgive those who sinned against me.
I will not help you at all to continue in unforgiveness. I am only binding myself. I must forgive in order to free myself. The person who sinned against you may even be dead by now, but you are still bound by your own unforgiving. It won’t cost you anything, except to bow in humility before the LORD. But it will free you from this negative influence in your life.