“Hurt people hurt people” is the phrase that’s been bouncing around in my head lately.
Every single one of us has been on both sides of this. Even if we didn’t know it or see it or still don’t.
The truth is…
You have hurt people.
People have hurt you.
People have hurt them.
As humans, our default when hurt is to act out of our pain.
The enemy takes our pain and then hands us his dark sunglasses to wear so that all we see is what is right in front of us: our own pain.
He wants us to fight one another. He wants us to throw shame around like candy. Ultimately, he wants to get our eyes off of the Lord and onto ourselves.
But Scripture says our fight is NOT against flesh and blood.
Don’t wash over that. Read it again. And again. And again. As often as you need to to remember that, as humans, we are all ON THE SAME SIDE.
Wisdom and maturity are recognizing that those that hurt us, whether intended or not, need love, too. They need our prayers, our patience, our long-suffering, our kindness, our compassion. They are just like us. We need those things when we screw up, too.
When we start thinking we are better than someone else because we have “eyes to see,” we are in big trouble. Those eyes are wearing the enemy’s shades.
Nobody is bad enough, evil enough, wrong enough, deceitful enough, or even deceived enough to warrant SHAMING.
It’s not necessary, and not only that, but it’s the work of the ENEMY!
What is our ultimate goal? To watch those who we feel have hurt us crash and burn? Is that the heart of the Father?
Or is to watch them learn and grow and thrive and, ultimately, become more like Jesus?
How we treat people when they have hurt us shows where WE are.
However we process our pain,
the end goal should always be LIFE.
What can we do to lead others towards LIFE? Life for those who hurt us and life for those who are WATCHING how we deal with our hurt.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that how you react and respond to your hurt and pain isn’t being noticed by others. It is.
The question is, is it generating LIFE? If it’s not, we are actually doing the work of the enemy. That is surely sobering.
Ultimately, our goal should be to have the grace to recognize that our fight is not against flesh and blood. And that HE fights our battles for us.
If we just respond to pain by casting stones, we will soon find ourselves buried as well…. and a fat lot of good it will do to have a bunch of Christians covered with stones at the bottom of a ditch.
As believers who follow the same Jesus, how about we deal with conflict with eyes wide open and LIFE as the goal?
Let’s think outside the box.
Let’s get on our faces in prayer on behalf of one another and get OUT OF THE WAY!
Let’s hear His heart and find a way toward restoration… even if it seems impossible.
NOTHING is impossible…
Although, if you’re buried in a ditch wearing some dark shades, you may certainly think so.
Written by Jen Bailey
Featured Image by Lina Trochez