Forgiving helps heal from abuse

Q. I know Jesus wants me to love everyone the way he does, but I just can't do it. I was abused as a child, and I can't just wave a wand and have all those memories and emotional scars go away, can I?

Child abuse (whatever its nature) is wrong for many reasons, but one of the most important is the emotional scars it causes – scars that may be with someone for the rest of life.

No, you can't just “wave a wand'' and make all these memories vanish. But God wants to help you overcome them. You may even need the help of a skilled counselor – but that shouldn't keep you from making the effort.

First, learn to forgive. Christ willingly went to the cross so all our sins could be forgiven. We don't deserve his forgiveness – nor do those who abused you deserve your forgiveness. But he forgave us anyway – and we should forgive others the same way.

Then ask God to fill you with his love – for everyone. When someone reminds you of something hurtful, ask God to remind you of his love – both for you and for them.