Troublesome Topic: Hurtful Memories Including Abuse

By Audry Eberhard

For those who have had hurts and abuse in their past, it needs to be dealt with in a healthy way. The best way to deal with those hurts is to focus your attention on Jesus and His word, instead of focusing on your pain. When you do this, it will put your past hurts in proper perspective.

The pain from your past should not be buried or avoided because God wants to use it to develop His character in our lives. By burying it we are missing out on an opportunity for growth in our spiritual lives. We should not be identified as the hurt or abuse either. We are not a victim of whatever has happened in our past, rather we need to bring that experience to the cross of Christ. We need to accept that that experience is a part of our lives, we must forgive the person or persons involved including ourselves, we must ask forgiveness for burying it or allowing it to become part of our identity, and nail it to the cross of Christ. It is part of our past, but we must now ask God to help us daily nail the temptation to dwell on it or bury it to the cross in order to declare victory over that prideful thought that it was my fault or that that experience has more bearing on my life than His Spirit dwelling within me.

Satan would like nothing better than to get you sidetracked with past experiences that you have dealt with. Remember that you are a new creature in Christ, you do not have to be caught in the never-ending cycle of temptation to focus on self, the sin of self-focus, and the guilt that always follows sin. Instead start a new cycle of dealing with temptation, humble yourself before the cross, ask forgiveness, nail that temptation or sin to the cross and make that declaration of victory based on the finished work of Christ on the cross. You are more than an overcomer (Rom 8:37) when that is your response to temptation.

This does not mean that the abuse is your fault. The other person will answer to God for that. But it does mean that you are guilty of responding to the pain in a self-centered way rather than in a God-centered way. Focusing your attention on your painful memories from the past is a type of self-centeredness; it is not God-centeredness. While repenting for your reaction to the hurts caused by abuse may seem strange, we are convinced that it is one of the important steps that cannot be left out if you want to find true freedom from those memories.

The next lesson is: Insecurity