5. Physical Abuse

Refrain from anger and give up your rage; do not be agitated—it can only bring harm. – Psalms 37:8

Anger can lead to bad places. What may begin as verbal abuse, could turn into physical abuse. What begins as physical abuse, could eventually turn to murder.

The key difference between verbal and physical abuse is not what the old saying indicates.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”

Words do hurt, but words hurt internally. Physical abuse carries an internal and external hurt.

There are people who carry around permanent wounds of their physical abuse (given or received), a constant reminder of their past for them, and anyone who sees them.

The Bible urges believers to not give into anger. While we may feel anger, as God has too, we are not to take our anger out on others or inflict suffering upon anyone. Physical abuse is not a sign of love—but forgiveness is.

Choosing Forgiveness

Whether the sin is big or small, everyone responds to sin differently. One person’s reaction to cheating may be to try and heal the relationship. Another may choose to leave the relationship. What both parties should have in common is expressing forgiveness.

That is what the Bible tells us to do. What’s more, we are no more deserving of forgiveness than others.

So God created man in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female. – Genesis 1:27

God has created all of mankind in his image. That includes the people who offend us. Thinking about all people as being what my pastor calls “image-bearers” of God makes forgiveness much more appealing.

If everyone is made in God’s image, then they each have inherent worth. We all do. Forgiveness is not an asset to be experienced by some. It is a gift meant for all of us.

Forgiveness will always be a difficult process. But knowing that when we show this form of love we will also receive forgiveness from God is encouraging. And we will in part be fulfilling the second greatest commandment (Matthew 22:39).

Is there someone you need to forgive or maybe someone you want to ask forgiveness from?

May God touch your heart after reading this article and lead you along a renewed path of forgiveness.

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