Have you ever been at the receiving end of a personal attack so brutal that it wounded you to the core. I have. Attacks by someone we don’t really know may be easily brushed off (unless you are super sensitive, which I can sometimes be) but when we are attacked by those we are closest to the pain is real, and it hurts.
How do we respond to the hurt?
Welcome to FREEDOM FRIDAY – A devotional, emotional, spiritual and sometimes hysterical series that I will be sharing on occasional Fridays, in addition to my regular Old Things New posts. Why? Because though once bound in chains Christ has set me free – FREE to live, to love, to dance, to sing, to be who God created me to be!
When someone lashes out it may be that there is an element of truth to what was said or there may be no truth in it at all. No matter what it still hurts and it’s easy to take up an offense against the person who hurt us.
*Maybe that hurt is manifested in anger, “Well FINE, if that’s the way you want to be, I’m done!”
*Maybe your response is to flee and to isolate, pretending it never even happened.
*Maybe the hurt manifests in deep pain, even fear of loss so that you crumble, taking all of the responsibility upon yourself and scrambling to make things right.
For most of us it is very tempting to hold an offense against the person who hurt us, running the words over and over in our heads, giving them new meaning, maybe even beginning to believe untruths said about us and beating ourselves up, rather than remembering and dwelling on who we are in Christ (For a link to Scriptures telling who you are in Christ click HERE).
This is just plain wrong.
Good sense makes one slow to anger,
and it is his glory to overlook an offense. Prov 19:11 ESV
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Eph. 4:31-32 ESV
When we become bitter all the fruits of the Spirit that God has placed in the Christ follower, love, joy, peace, patience, etc. are replaced by all of the emotions allowed to supplant them, hatred, unhappiness, agitation, self -pity and the like. Quickly then, it becomes
All. About. Me.
Following Christ is all about dying to our selfish desires and living for Him, loving God and loving others as ourselves. So maybe we shouldn’t be overthinking and brooding over the injustices against us but instead asking God what is going on inside the other person that would cause them act in such a way. What has hurt them so deeply that they would choose to lash out? Where is God in their life? What deep pain needs healing? How can we pray for them?
Think of when Peter betrayed Jesus. Jesus was hurt sure, but His hurt was for Peter not Himself.
Don’t allow hurt to cause you to take up an offense and reproduce the same bad fruit in you as the other person has exhibited toward you. Don’t let hurtful words pull you in the wrong direction, away from God instead of toward Him. Don’t let what you do with the hurt lead you into rebellion against God.
Ask yourself what thoughts you are having toward the one who offended you. Are they true? Are they honorable? Are they right, pure, and lovely? Can you continue to hold onto the thoughts you are having and be obedient to Christ?
I know this is hard. Believe me friends, I don’t write anything that I haven’t experienced myself. The core of our pain can become, in God’s hands, the core of our purpose.
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