Many of us grew up hearing “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Experience has taught us how false that statement is. Yes, sticks and stones can break bones, but words? Words can crush a person’s spirit. I know I’ve been guilty in the past of (intentionally) causing some serious hurt with my words. I too have had my spirit crushed by the words of others, and on the road to healing, I’ve heard a few blanket statements/ideologies that I’ve seen hinder the growth of people:
1. “If you’re still being triggered or affected by what was done or said, you haven’t forgiven.” – I battled with this for a while. I know I’ve forgiven, but why am I still so bothered, or why does the memory create anxiety in me? Forgiveness is a decision we make, healing is a process. Triggers are sometimes a reminder from God that another layer of healing is needed & possible.
2. “Forgive & forget.” If a person has the blursing (blessing & curse) of a great memory, they’re plagued with the lie that they haven’t forgiven because they can’t forget. It is very possible to forgive and not forget, especially when dealing with trauma. The average person doesn’t get amnesia once they forgive, and that’s where the process of healing must take place, especially in the context of a community.
3. “Forgive & reconcile.” Context – what was done to damage the relationship? For the sake of peace & wellness, not every relationship can, or should, be reconciled. I’ve seen people not forgive because they’ve been misinformed that forgiving automatically means they need to develop a relationship again with the person that hurt them. Not true!
4. “Humility means obedience.” Context – who’s in authority and what is the command? Sometimes the most humble thing to do is say no to the person the Holy Spirit is warning will lead us away from His will for us, regardless of what position of authority they hold in our lives. For instance, when I got my first corporate job, I had to tell me boss no at a certain point, because I knew what was being asked of me wasn’t right.
Every situation is different, and without context, generalizations can lead or keep someone in bondage. Hope this helps set someone free today! 💙