When people say and do hurtful things it makes me sad.
Yes it affects me personally, but my hurt usually turns into sadness for them.
I try not to focus on my hurt, but instead see them through God’s eyes.
When I do this, I often see that they are the one in pain, starved for love, blinded by self.
Self-focus. Selfishness. Self preservation.
What’s worse is that they are unaware. They are so wrapped up in whatever is going on in their life that they can’t see me, another human being, trying to show love and grace, standing right in front of them.
If you can relate, here is my encouragement to you…
“Just keep loving on them, the way you would want to be loved. Keep on forgiving.”
That’s the Jamila version….here’s the Biblical version…
I’ve learned that to do this doesn’t mean you keep putting yourself in harms way.
Seek to resolve the situations you can. And for those you can’t…love and forgive them from afar.
Don’t hold the hurt and un-forgiveness in your heart.
Give it to God and ask the Holy Spirit to help you see the spiritual warfare going on in the other person’s life.
Forgive them for they may not know what they do.
And pray that they would have an encounter with the Spirit that would overwhelm them with love and break the chains of “self” that blind them.
Will you pray with me?
Father, please help me to forgive those who have hurt me. Those that I know - friends, family, co-workers and neighbors…those @’s online that I will never meet face-to-face…and those celebrities, politicians, business owners, athletes and others I only know as public figures. We all have the ability to say and do hurtful things that effect each other in ways we can’t even imagine and may never know.
But You see everything. You see the direct and indirect hurt caused by every person’s words and actions. First I ask forgiveness for myself. I fall short and do and say things that hurt others. It doesn’t matter if it was intentional or not - I acknowledge my self-centered, self-focused behavior and ask Your forgiveness. I thank You for the grace You have shown me through others when I have been the one who hurt them.
And for any hurt or anger I’m still holding onto from the words or actions of those I know and those I don’t actually know in real life, please help me to see them through Your eyes, not my hurt. Help me let go and forgive. Help me extend them love even when they don’t extend it to me. Remind me that I do this for You, because I love You and You love me in spite of myself. Help me to be more like you and respond with grace and peace to every hurt. Help me recognize when someone is starved for love and acting out because of their hunger. Let me serve them love and be a balm for their pain.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Jamila is the founder of loved+blessed. On her personal mission to leave a legacy of encouragement, she blogs about her own life lessons with the hope that it will bring joy into others’ lives and help them find the courage to keep walking in faith knowing that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord. Read her testimony of how God turned her misery into ministry.