“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.”
You will never make it through the Christian walk without having someone hurt you. God used Philemon’s life and the wrong that he experienced to help believers in this area of hurt. Paul implored Philemon to forgive Onesimus for the wrong he committed, and he also asked him to take him back and use him because he felt that he was necessary for the ministry. At the end of Paul’s letter to Philemon he said, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit….” Why would Paul talk about the need for God’s grace for Philemon’s spirit? The reason he said this is because he knew the only way that Philemon would be able to move on and accept Onesimus as a brother in Christ is by allowing his spirit to be healed with God’s grace.
One of the most damaged areas of your life when you experience a wrong is in your spirit. Many people have told others that they forgive them, but their forgiveness was empty because they never allowed their spirit to be forgiven. Many people have physically moved on from a hurt, but they have never moved on in their spirit. The result of a spirit not being healed from a hurt comes out in your treatment and trust of others. Churches are filled with people who have never allowed God’s grace to heal their spirit. Let me give you some advice on how to heal your spirit when you have gone through a deep hurt.
First, accept the fact that the person who did you wrong did it because sin broke them. I tell people often that sin causes good people to do bad things; therefore, we must not get mad at the person, but we must get mad at the sin. Many people can’t look beyond the person to see that sin caused the hurt because the hurt came through a human form. My friend, until God’s grace heals your spirit, you will hold the human responsible for the hurt instead of the sin which caused the human to do the hurt.
Second, you cannot properly practice forgiveness if your spirit has forgiven the offender. The only way your spirit can forgive the person who hurt you is by allowing God’s grace to heal your spirit. Words of forgiveness are empty graves if your spirit hasn’t forgiven the person who has wronged you. My friend, you will continue in bitterness and seek revenge with the one who hurt you if you don’t allow God’s grace to heal your spirit. Only God’s grace for your spirit will allow you to forgive the offender with your spirit.
Third, you cannot help others grow until your spirit is filled with God’s grace. One of the greatest reasons you must be filled with the Spirit of God is so that your spirit can have His grace to forgive others who have wronged you. Philemon could never help Onesimus until God’s grace influenced his spirit through the Holy Spirit. Likewise, you will never help others to move on from the actions of sin that cause hurt until you allow God’s grace to influence your spirit through the Holy Spirit.
Fourth, ask God to give you His grace for your spirit daily. When you go through a hurt, you must ask God to heal your spirit with His grace. Your ability to help others depends on whether you allow the grace of God to influence your spirit. When God’s grace influences your spirit, you will find bitterness and the desire for revenge will flee. The only hope of moving on from a hurt is to get God’s grace for your spirit.