Question: How should we respond when we are hurt by the actions of other believers — who themselves are hurting?
Perspective: Seek the cross and grace of Christ, as the only true cure for our pain — and theirs.
If someone accidentally hurts me — and is mature enough — I can go to them with my pain and expect their help. But what do I do when someone hurts me precisely because they were overcome by their own pain and fears? And especially: when they won’t admit it? Or worse, blame it entirely on me?
My natural tendency is to turn to the Law: try to force them to face up to their sin and pain. But even on the rare occasions where this appears to work, it never restores the relationship.
So these days, I am trying a different path. I believe:
- Only the first six seconds of my pain is due to what the other person did
- The ongoing anger and resentment comes from some aspect of my identity feeling devalued
- This is because my identity was based on something other than the Jesus who died of me
- Therefore, I should thank God for them showing me where I need to grow closer to Jesus
- The portion of the wound I have the most trouble forgiving is precisely that area where I myself have not received God’s grace — and therefore tend to hurt others in the exact same way!
- My real need is for that wounded portion of my psyche to encounter Jesus and be healed.
- Once I have received grace and validation from Jesus, I can deal with those who wounded me from a position of generosity, rather than need.
In particular, I believe that simply speaking grace and blessing out of my place of pain can redeem those who are trapped in their own wounded-ness. Well, maybe not “simply…”
- “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” — Matthew 5:11
- “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.” — Romans 5:3
- “The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?” — 1 Corinthians 6:7
- “Forgive us for doing wrong, as we forgive others.” — Matthew 6:12
- Validation – An Award Winning Short Film On Smiles (2007)
- TGR-S5E5: Better Next Time (Grace)
- Prelude to Reconciliation
- Broken Words: Lament of the Spiritual Entrepreneur