Part of spiritual abuse is being falsely accused. As you can imagine, it’s one of the worst feelings in the world. Everything in you screams out for vindication and revenge. You want to let the entire world know that you have done nothing wrong. In spite of your embarrassment, everything inside of you insists on setting the record straight—immediately, not later.
The normal, healthy, appropriate thing to do is to fight back, and that’s exactly what you intend to do. Now, let me ask you:
—Does this sound familiar?
—Is this exactly how you felt?
—Turning your other cheek isn’t something you would ever consider, right?
You want retribution—not forgiveness. But that’s not how the Lord behaved, is it? He was so focused upon doing the will of the Father; He never defended Himself, when He was falsely accused. He never lifted a finger, and He certainly could have.
Could you do the same thing? Could you be this selfless? Would it even occur to you this might be what the Lord wants from you?
In recovery, choosing to forgive is as difficult as it gets, and it’s hard to think about the future when everything inside of you wants to fight. Vindication can be obtained, but it’s best left in the Lord’s hands. Let Him be your advocate.
Reflect back and think about what would have happened in your own situation, if you had not focused on vindication. I know this is difficult, but just imagine—what if! What did acting out your anger accomplish—other than making you feel good for a very short period of time? Long-term, it probably did more harm than good.
If you reflect upon the alternative outcome, it may help you in the future. To help you let go of self-vindication and forgive your abuser, join me in this prayer:
Now that I’ve revealed myself completely,
Being as honest and forthright
As I know how to be,
Having also admitted my faults to another,
Please You to heal my pain completely,
And change anything in me You desire.
You are Almighty God; and I am not.
I’m weary of trying to walk a path
That has not been directed by You.
To complete the process of purging
All that remains toxic in my soul,
I know there is one final step I need to travel,
Which I want to do right now, Lord.
I release those who have been abusive to me,
Forgiving them totally and completely.
I have clutched my anger and bitterness
For far too long, and I have paid
A heavy price within my soul for doing so.
Believing I was punishing them by withholding forgiveness,
I have only punished myself instead,
Which I now realize and no longer desire to do.
I forgive them—just as You have forgiven me.
I release them completely—just as You have released me.
Give me the strength to put my pain and anger in the past,
And allow me to walk into the future unencumbered,
Free from the debilitating shackles that have enslaved me
To become the person You created me to be.
I ask this in the power of the Holy Spirit,
And in Christ’s Name, amen.