Forgiveness vs. Healing

A crumbling marriage can leave you with much guilt, doubt, regret, and shame. It’s at this point that we are often convicted of our own sin that got us here and seek to reconcile with God. One of the true blessings of the journey to marriage restoration is how it brings us closer to our Father. On that journey, we need to seek forgiveness from Him as well as spiritual healing. So what’s the difference?

What Healing Looks Like

God convicted us of our sin, we repented and turned away from it, and we know we are forgiven by Him. Yet something still feels off. We still feel haunted by what we’ve done, we still feel guilty, we don’t feel like our sin has been washed away by the blood of Christ. This is when we are in need of healing. Healing looks different for everybody, depending on the nature of the sin, and you should seek the Holy Spirit for the steps to your individual healing. Some steps that the process of healing may include:

-Recovering from the hurt, pain, and trauma caused
-Repenting to our spouse or others affected
-Making things right on earth to the best of our ability
-Persevering through earthly consequences of our sin
-Learning from our experience to prevent the same mistakes
-Preparing to defend ourselves against future temptation
-Truly understanding the power of the Holy Spirit to heal us
-Replacing wrong thinking with truth from God’s word

The sin that led to the destruction of a marriage does not occur overnight, so we can expect the journey to healing, recovery, and restoration to happen quickly either. The first step is to get right with God and make sure of our salvation. That’s when the Holy Spirit gives us the tools to overcome our past and truly grow from our sins into an abundant life. We begin healing through the lifelong process of sanctification, which is our beautiful, intimate walk with God that ends when we meet Him in heaven.

How the World Views Healing

The world may tell us to heal through doctors, drugs, self-help programs, counseling, psychotherapy, or other earthly ways. But if we are not sanctified through the blood of Christ, this is merely a means of coping that does not actually set us free. We may go through the entire process and be deceived that we are recovered, then live our entire lives avoiding the issue for fear of digging it all up again. It is only Jesus who can touch every area of our life and deliver us eternally.

I can surely relate to this. It’s easy to and simple to think God has forgiven me and therefore I am a new creation and can just move on. But life isn’t that easy and simple. Spiritually I AM a new creation in Christ, but healing must occur because I am also human. Humans are messy and complicated; Our minds become attached to mistakes and need time to process it so we can understand and learn from our experiences in order to move on.

For example, one of my sins was overspending money without consulting my husband and then hiding it from him. I have repented to God for this, He has forgiven me and in my heart, I can rejoice, but I still face the effects of my sin here on earth. It doesn’t just go away because I’ve repented. Here are the other steps that I’ve taken to heal:

-Repented to my husband and asked for forgiveness
-Identify and correct wrong thinking that led to the sin
-Figure out how to learn from my mistakes
-Seek God’s voice and what He may be teaching me
-Determine how I can prevent this sin in the future
-Make an effort to learn better spending habits
-Focus on communication around shared resources
-Earn the money back and put it in the account

What was at the root of my sin? I was not looking to God for fulfillment. I felt a lack and thought wrongly that if I spent money to get more things then those things would bring me fulfillment. I was believing this lie from the enemy and not looking to my Father to meet my needs. Once that lie took residence in my heart, it gave the devil a foothold and the sin only snowballed.

I became very self-centered and only thought of myself of my happiness. When I believed that spending money would make me happy, my sinful nature wanted to protect what I was so convinced of. I didn’t consult my husband and continued to hide this from him because I believed he would threaten what brought me happiness. I didn’t want to risk him taking that away and so I was resisting his conviction.

Eternal Healing

When followers of Christ truly commit their healing to Him, wait patiently, remain steadfast in prayer, and study of God’s word, they will be cleaned through the blood of Christ. Jesus does not offer quick fixes or shallow results, His healing will be eternal. You will never be the same again.

Matthew 9:20-22

Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.

What was at the root of your sin? Share with us in the comments below.

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AuthorAshley Gerstle

God Bless