It is hard to believe, but more times than not, it is the people whom we love and are closest to that end up hurting us the most. If a stranger pushes you or cuts you off in traffic you might get upset, but in the end that feeling goes away quickly.
If you husband, wife, Mom or Dad, son or daughter says or does something that hurts you, well that feeling of hurt can sometimes last forever. Of course we put more weight behind what our loved ones think about us and say to us. We have spent much more time with them and have invested time, resources, and much love into them so when they say or do something that is hurtful to us, it just does not make any sense to us why they would do something like that intentionally. But they do!
The entire reason for Counselors and Pastors to exist is to help people who have been hurt in one form or another. Sometimes the hurt is verbal, sometimes the hurt is physical, and in the worst cases it is both. The Bible tells us the extreme power that our words have on those we love. Our tongues are called “sharpened swords that will cut and carve.” This analogy is so very true, yet we never often realize the impact our words can have.
There are hundreds of thousands of children in this world whose parents have called them “stupid” and told them they would never amount to anything. Here, the parents tongue cuts the heart right out of the child in ways they could never imagine. Even if the child has done something wrong, those are not the words to use, ever. The action may be dumb, but NEVER the child! Remember what Jesus said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Unless you are perfect like Jesus (HINT – you are NOT) then words like these should never leave your lips because they WILL scare a child’s heart forever.
Physical abuse of course is simply wrong in every single case and I counsel anyone who is experiencing physical abuse to get away from that person as soon as possible. Yes I am familiar with the Bible and the fact that Jesus tells us not to divorce. But in the same Bible, we are told that if someone hurts you, warn them once, then warn them twice, and on the third time leave them behind you. The statistics do not lie – 86% of people who physically abuse people will do it again, especially if they spend any time in jail for doing it. There are many, many reasons why people choose to physically abuse people, but until they get proper medical help, they will more than likely keep it up. If you are experiencing physical abuse, seek help immediately.
Here is the light within this dark writing – God’s grace enables you to forgive people who hurt you! How? Well to begin, let me remind you that you are not perfect. You may not be mentally or physically abusing others, but you have sinned just as well, and to God there are no levels of sin. The Bible makes it clear that the only unpardonable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. All other sins go into a bucket called “sin” and they all look exactly alike to God – they all earn us a death sentence. Telling a little bitty white lie carries the same death sentence as killing a person to God. God tells us not to do it, so we are not to do it. So yes, stealing is just as bad as abuse to our God of justice.
So knowing that you are not perfect, do you not hope that God will forgive you? If you accept Jesus as Savior, He has! This is God’s free gift of grace to us. He sent Jesus to pay for our sins so that we can have eternal life (John 3:16). So when we mess up and sin, we repent, ask God to forgive us, and then rest assured that Jesus work on the cross paid for our sins. This same process is available to all people – even to those who hurt and abuse us.
Trust me, like you, I have been hurt very badly before. Most people have. I very much was angry about what happened to me and I wished only for revenge against the person who hurt me. I asked God if He would, “give this person exactly what they had coming to them for treating me this way.” I knew God was a God of justice so surely He would strike this person down, right? In an instant God reminded me that I was not God. I was not perfect. I had sinned and hurt others as well. Did I want to be struck down?
That sobering thought chilled me to the bone and brought me to tears.
Of course not. I wanted, and needed God’s grace and forgiveness as much as everyone else does. Further, it is not up to me to judge others. Who knows why this person hurt me, but in the end, God would deal with them in His own way and in His own perfect timing because no evil deed happens without consequences. Therefore I was able to pray to God to forgive this person and then to please forgive me for wishing anything bad on anyone.
Remember, your not perfect, only God is. You need forgiveness just like we all do. Forgive those who hurt you and if need be walk away from them. Forgiving does not mean you keep going back for more. Warn them once, then twice, then walk away if need be. But ALWAYS forgive – God has forgiven you – you owe it to God to forgive and then let justice be God’s to dole out.
Hurt is never fun, but it can make us into better people in the end. I have seen this time and again. Some of the best and strongest people I know have been through so very much pain and suffering and yet if you met them you would think they had the world in their hand. God’s grace allows us to forgive – please think about this the next time you hurt!
Father, anyone who reads this who has been hurt may be wondering why You would allow others to hurt them. Free will explains it for sure, but that never seems to help with the pain. What does help with the pain is knowing that Your will for us is to forgive anyone who does wrong because we ourselves need that forgiveness as well. Thank you for not giving us what we deserve God, which is a life in hell separated from you for our lives of sin. Thank You for giving us what we do not deserve, and that is your grace and forgiveness and the promise of eternity spent with you in the perfect Heaven which you have created for us. Please give us your strength during our pain and hurt and your peace which will allow us to forgive. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN!
Pastor Brad Komgenick