When You Have Been Hurt
Whether you have been a part of the church for a week, a year or 40 years, you quickly learn that church people will hurt you. And chances are, you have hurt others in the church as well. Because we are born sinful and live in a sinful world, we constantly have to deal with the effects of sin. What sets us apart from the world is HOW we deal with it.
So how do we, as believers, handle hurt, disappointment, or anger? These are all natural responses to difficult situations where anothers’ sin causes a personal wound.
This is not a surprise to God – and He will redeem it for your good if you will allow Him to (Rom. 8:28). While it is never God’s will that people sin, our sin does not surprise the Lord. He will use every situation in your life (good and bad) to make you more into the image of Christ because He loves you (Eph. 3:14-19). Although we don’t like to be hurt or disappointed, these serve a purpose. It is through trials and disappointments that we learn patience, humility, endurance and trust. These virtues develop godly character in us (Rom. 5:3-5).
God can bring healing – We serve the Great Physician. He came to bind up the brokenhearted (Ps. 147:3), give us comfort (2 Cor. 1:3) and by His wounds we find healing (1 Pet. 2:24).
God is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow – Remember Who God is. This circumstance does not change the character of God. God is good (Luke 18:18-30; Ps. 107), God is love (1 Jn 4:7-11, Rom. 8:37-39), and God is Sovereign (Jer. 32:17, Prov. 19:21, Is. 45:7-9). Press in to the Lord!
Pray for yourself – Ask that the Lord will change your heart so your deepest desire is to know and love him more. Ask the Lord to bring to mind all the ways He has forgiven you for your sin.
Pray for the one who has sinned – Thank the Lord for the ways this person has blessed you or your family. Ask the Lord to bring about repentance (Rom. 8:12-13) and surrender (2 Tim. 2:25). Pray that their deepest desire would be to know and love Jesus more.
Guard against gossip – While there are many ways to justify sharing information, it is important to remember that if the person you want to share with is not part of the problem or solution, it is best not to say anything at all (Prov. 21:23)
Be vigilant to guard your own heart – Any one of us, if given the right set of circumstances, can fall prey to the enemy’s schemes (1 Cor. 10:12-13). We must be suited up in our spiritual armor (Eph. 6:10-17) because our sin is ever present (Gen. 4:7). We must also guard our thoughts (heart) because everything we say and do flows from it (Prov. 4:23). Keep your mind fixed on what is true, noble, right, and excellent (Phil. 4:8).
Forgive – Whether or not the one who has sinned has asked for forgiveness, ask the Lord to give you a forgiving heart toward them (Eph. 4:32 – this is different than reconciliation and does not infer immediate restoring of trust).