Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Overcoming the Hurt That Others Cause

The subject of forgiveness is a tough one for us all.  I know it. You know it. We all know it. All of us get our feelings hurt. All of us have moments where we feel persecuted. All of us get offended by the comments of others. All of us experience situations, some worse than others, where being able to forgive someone for the wrong they've done in our lives is pretty overwhelming. I wish I could say that as a Christian, it is easy to forgive. But sometimes, even considering forgiveness is out of the question.

"Very funny! Forgiveness? Do you even know what they did to me? I can never let it go. I mean, really. Why would I even want to forgive them? They were mean! They were hurtful! They made me cry! Never! I will never forgive!"

Quite frequently, I want to stay stubborn towards the idea of ever getting over what someone else has done to me. The pain of what they have done hurts too much. But, in reality, not being able to forgive leads to worse feelings than taking those steps to redemption.

2 Timothy 3:12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

Forgiveness doesn't mean that we forget what it is that hurts us.  Forgiveness means that we are trying to look beyond that hurt to a place of peace in our heart. Forgiveness allows us to not let our lives be hung over a fiery pit of torment. It helps us cling to God and question whether we've repented for what we may have done to others too. 

Words that others speak cannot be taken back.  They are buried inside our soul. The actions others can do to us cannot be forgotten. They are remarkably painful when we rehash it in our minds. But we must bury the hatchet of pain that this causes or we cannot experience unspeakable joy.

When I look back over the past events of my life, I can think of numerous times I have felt hurt and betrayed. I can remember specific events that cannot be erased without getting teared up by the hurt of those moments. It is never easy to move on from those feelings of pain. But what one suffers, God can relieve.

Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

We all make mistakes in our lives.  We all say things that we can not take back. Every one of us is guilty of doing things we wished we hadn't done. But do we apologize for what we say and do? Do we confront the person we've offended and explain the errors of our ways? Or do we just shrug our shoulders and call the other person "sensitive"  and "mistakably wrong?"

Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly  Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

 Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how  many times shall  I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?"

Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times."

Even though we should come forth and forgive the other person, it doesn't mean that we must allow that person back in to our life, depending on what they have done. It doesn't mean that we don't need boundaries. But it does mean that we need to be loving. It does mean that we need to let it go and move forward as best as we can.

This week at church, we heard from this woman who suffered a great hurt in her life and learned to forgive the person who caused a major pain. Check it out:

"Forgiveness must issue from the heart. It must be sincere. God has forgiven us; if we fail to show grace to others who have repented-guilty parties in a divorce, former  gang members, adulterers, homosexuals, gossipers, crafty politicians- then this text simply promises us hellfire( compare Mt 5:7; 6:12, 14-15)."- Matthew Henry

Let me encourage you today to think of those situations you are currently in and pray about them. Pray for that person who is hurting you and pray that God can change your heart so that you can forgive them. Pray that God gives you a peace over the situation so that it no longer keeps you dangling over that fiery pit. He will help you through this and He will heal.

I also want to encourage you to repent to Him for the things you've done wrong. Seek forgiveness from others for any kind of hurt you may have impressed in their life, no matter how large or small. Above all, forgive seventy-seven times or more. 

No comments:

Post a Comment