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The Courage to Forgive Leadership


This might be a hard sell, but I'm okay with that.

Rejection, dismissal, church hurt, physical and mental trauma. There are so many forms of ab-use (too many to name here), but they all incorporate one thing; devastation.

Abuse is one of the few elements in society that can get to everyone, and no one is immune. Even so, the impact goes to another level when the pain is provoked by a person of authority in your life.

Welcome to a dark place.

When the Pain Hits Different




Church leadership.

Someone who was supposed to respect you and protect you has affected you in ways you find hard to articulate except through anger or fear and they do not have to be in your sights for you to suffer. When you don't put in the work to heal, years could go by and just the mere mention of their name activates the emotional and spiritual trauma lying in wait to be triggered.

I know. I've been there.

We expect the leadership in our lives to

do better,

live better,

love better,

and know better

intrinsically teaching us the same.

But when they don't.....

when they do not care to

do better,

live better,

love better,

or know better...

it can take us to a dark place.

I know. I've been there.

The lesson I had to learn in the dark is no matter how justified my pain, I still had no business living in its darkness.

Not if God loved me (and He does).

Neither do you (He loves you, too).

The Dark Place

I know they were wrong.

I know they hurt you, neglected you, abandoned you then blamed you.

Leaders are still human. They have the capacity to do stupid, mean-spirited, awful things.

Just like you and me.

But the pain can hit different.

It is not just about their influence on you.

The influence of their actions towards you also lingers

and still

God is calling you to come out of the darkness.

The Lord is my light and my salvation— Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the refuge and fortress of my life— Whom shall I dread?~Psalm 27:1, Amplified Bible

The Holy Spirit will meet you at your place of sorrow, but He will not help build you a house there.

He is your refuge.

He is your fortress.

He will bring you out to a safe place and into the light of respect and protection that is only found in the Messiah.

Your Good Shepherd.

He leaves the ninety-nine and comes looking for you.

Forgiveness and Prayer

No one said this process would be easy. Christ knew we would struggle with forgiveness so much he addressed it in Matthew 6 twice in his teaching of the Lord's Prayer. The question I am compelled to ask is this...

Do you trust that when you forgive The Good Shepherd will come for you?

Are you willing to keep your eyes on Him and not the thorn-filled thicket making you bleed?

True, lasting, authentic, forward moving forgiveness does not begin with words or even deeds. It starts with vulnerable and transparent prayer.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
Be gracious and compassionate to me and answer me. ~Psalm 27:7, AMP

Putting in the Work

I would have despaired had I not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living. Wait for and confidently expect the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for and confidently expect the Lord. ~Psalm 27:13-14, AMP

Unresolved pain is a poor platform for forgiveness.

It's time to put in the work and let Jesus deal with your pain.

How did this hurt you? Why does it still hurt you?

If you're not feeling courageous enough to let God fight your battle, what is the alternative?

Are you really ready to let vengeance become your God are will you finally give Jesus something to work with?

We do not forgive based on the condition of repentance, we forgive because we desire the peace of God and vengeance brings no peace. Fearlessly trusting God to protect and fight for you gives forgiveness a strong foundation upon which to build. It takes the power from the adversary and puts it in its proper place - on the Cross.


I said at the beginning this might be a hard sell. I'm still okay with that.

None of what has been said justified the behavior of leadership gone bad. God holds us to a higher standard and we will pay a higher cost for our mistreatment of his children. But the epidemic levels of unforgiveness in the Kingdom is just as costly to the Master's magnificent plan.

I won't ignore that. I hope you don't either.

It's time to be courageous and change our perspective.

If you are looking for a way out of your dark place of unforgiveness, I encourage you to spend quality time with Psalm 27. Create the fearless trust in God you need to do what is necessary to get the peace you deserve.

And remember I love you, but God loves you more.

“Be strong and courageous,...

~Joshua 1:6


Author | Founder | Ministry Coach

We break cycles here. Part of's 2023 "Top 10" for "Best Black Christian Blogs and Websites" and "Spiritual Blogs and Websites"

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About Phillipa



Phillipa Williams has dedicated her life to building God’s kingdom. A former programs director for new member and Christian education with over 36 years’ experience in leadership and discipleship, she has equipped thousands to serve God and community.

She is the Founder/CEO of GOD n Me International, a faith-based social enterprise equipping and inspiring others for spiritual intimacy, transparency, and destiny. Her blog,, was named one of the "Top 10 Black Christian Blogs, Websites, Newsletters To Follow in 2019“ by In Spring 2022, Phillipa published her first book, GOD 'n You: Finding Your Place in Forever. She also completed the licensing and ministerial requirements at the Potter's House School of Ministry in Dallas, Texas.

An advocate for women and children, Phillipa founded and serves as Executive Director of the 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, ilooklikeLOVE, Inc.. ilooklikeLOVE works to eradicate early childhood poverty through diaper assistance and capacity building for new mothers.


She is the proud parent on one adult son, Kenneth.

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