John Piper on How to Forgive Abusive Parents

Bethlehem College & Seminary Chancellor and Desiring God founder John Piper giving remarks at a conference in January 2019. | YouTube/Desiring God

Reformed theologian and DesiringGod.org founder John Piper recently gave three points of advice for a person who struggled to forgive their parents for childhood abuse.

In an episode of the podcast “Ask Pastor John” posted Wednesday, an unnamed listener emailed Piper asking how to forgive his parents.

“I’ve been a Christian for seventeen years but struggle with forgiveness of my parents for my abusive childhood. I know that the Lord teaches forgiveness, as does the Bible in many passages. I’m able to forgive others injustices and wrongs, but I really struggle with memories of my childhood,” wrote the listener.

“Please help me to understand how I can get peace over this matter and try to forgive them, a forgiveness that lasts for all time, not just until another memory surfaces.”

Piper responded by giving three suggestions regarding the issue of forgiveness, starting with pointing out that “being able and willing to forgive grows out from the root of being forgiven.”

“… when I feel most guilty at the horror of my own sin against God and against Jesus, and when I feel most amazed at my own forgiveness, and most stunned at the magnitude of what it cost in Jesus’ suffering, I am least likely to be angry at those moments with those who have wronged me,” said Piper.

“My suggestion is to linger long and deep over the cost, the hope, the preciousness, and the amazing wonder of being forgiven at the cost of Christ’s life.”

Piper then suggested that whenever one feels wronged and demands justice, that they “roll that over onto the judge who judges justly.”

“You don’t have to bear the awful weight of being the judge and the avenger yourself. You can trust that justice will be done,” he continued.

“Punishment will happen in Hell, or will have happened on the cross. Sinners will bear it, or Christ will bear it. You cannot improve upon the justice of God in Christ’s crucifixion or in Hell.”

For his final suggestion, Piper argued that “an unforgiving spirit hurts you more than anyone,” adding that “it does a lot of harm to you and not to others.”

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Source: Christian Post