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There are many complex issues in families today that are causing a lot of hurt. Too many arguments have been had and too many words have been exchanged that have scarred young people and their parents.

There are many complex issues in families today that are causing a lot of hurt. Too many arguments have been had and too many words have been exchanged that have scarred young people and their parents.

We cannot pretend that these situations never happened. We cannot hope the bad feelings will just go away. We cannot just wish they were not there—wishing cannot make them suddenly disappear. We must learn to forgive.

Many things happen to us in life that just don't seem fair. It seems like every time we turn around, someone is ripping us off or stabbing us in the back. A lot of times it happens with someone we've been really close to, until all of a sudden he does something that really hurts us.

Family situations are a major source of real hurt. When the people we love most hurt us, it really stings our hearts. You may have been stabbed in the back, talked about, cut down, beaten, or even sexually abused. But don't think you are without hope.

I want to encourage you that God's awesome power can take away any pain no matter how deep it may be. The key to your recovery lies in the powerful principle called forgiveness.

Instead of just going through life and hurting, it's important for you to make a decision to deal with the hurt before you go any further. No relationship, fun, career, or activity can take away the pain of your past—only forgiveness can.

When I was growing up, I had to deal with some forgiveness issues in my life as well. What I'm about to share with you, I know from experience will work.

My mom and I had a really tough time getting along as I grew up. I felt like she was constantly out to get me. It seemed like she always punished me worse than my brothers and sisters. She would say things to me that made me feel so low, I felt like flushing myself down the toilet.

I grew up feeling so much hate toward my mom and I didn't have any idea how to get rid of it.

After I gave my life to the Lord, He began to deal with me about my mom. I had to change the way I felt toward her, and I didn't know how to do it. God spoke to my heart that I had to forgive my mom, but I had no idea how.

What you are about to read is exactly the process God took me through to forgive her; believe me—it works!

When we are abused, the pain is often so deep it's hard to believe that it will ever go away. Unforgiveness doesn't affect the person who hurt you as much as it affects you when you hold onto it. There's an old saying that says, "Hate corrodes the vessel that carries it."

It's like a weight on your shoulders that gets heavier every day you don't forgive. It's like a cancer in your heart that is infecting your whole body. It is almost like a dark cloud is following you around making you feel like you are the one to blame.

God has the power to heal your memories. When you forgive, the weight on your shoulders falls off. The cloud that's been following you leaves and the pain in your heart melts away.

You won't forget every bad thing that ever happened to you. However, when you forgive, God takes away the sting and pain in those memories. It will no longer hurt to think of them.

Usually, when we get hurt, we get mad. It is hard for us to distinguish the difference between these two emotions, because we feel them both at the same time. The Bible says in Ephesians 4:26-27, "In your anger, do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold."

Sure, things are going to make you mad, but you have to know how to handle your anger when it comes. Many people have grown old and bitter at the world because they let anger and bitterness overtake them.

God says do not even let one day go by while you are still mad. If you do, you give the devil a foothold in your life.

You can follow the Lord, go to church, and read your Bible every day. But if you get mad and stay mad, you invite the devil to put a stronghold on part of your life. It is like you are asking him to camp out right in your living room.

Ephesians 4:31-32 tells us how to deal with anger: "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger...Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

You get rid of anger by forgiving. It is the only way. No matter what you have been through, God has given you the power to forgive.

Source: Quit Playing With Fire by Ron Luce.
Excerpt permission granted by New Leaf Press, Inc.

Author Biography

Ron Luce
Web site: Ron Luce
Ron Luce was the co-founder's and president of Teen Mania Ministries from 1986-2015. Ron and his wife Katie dreamed to raise up young people who would change the world.

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