It is impossible to navigate this life without being hurt. This is true physically and relationally. There are certain universals. This is one of them. Not everyone will be rich. Not everyone will be married. Not everyone will live a long life. Not everyone will be athletic. But everyone will be hurt at some point.
There are different factors that go into this human condition. The more people you interact with, the more opportunity for hurt. The more tender-hearted you are, the more acutely you will feel the pain. The more you invest in relationships, the more likely you are to experience hurt. It stinks. It really does.
Relationship was the first target in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve enjoyed a perfect fellowship with God. They were family, and friends. But Satan's promise of an alternate reality and the disobedience of the humans broke what was perfect. God is not human, and Scripture doesn't record the hurt He felt, but it must have been immense. Along with hurt came shame, grief, disappointment, hopelessness, and a myriad of other emotions that drove the man and woman to avoid God the next time He came to visit.
When they did finally talk, God chastised them, letting them know that their breaking of the relationship would carry deep consequences to all of their descendants. Since then, every person has experienced this hurt. Even Jesus, who never sinned Himself knows all about the injury that comes through other people. He was hurt by people who were not His friends, and He was hurt by His friends. These are people He never hurt.
Sometimes we are hurt unintentionally. Accidents happen. People accidentally slam the car door on your finger or step on your foot. Hurt does not imply intent. But it is still painful. Sometimes people hurt you by neglecting to do what they should do in the relationship. Maybe they believe something that isn't true about you and say or do things that are hurtful. They just don't seem to care. You are hurt nonetheless. And sometimes people actually place you in their crosshairs and pull the trigger. This really hurts... especially when it is a person who is close to you. It has been said that only a friend can betray you.
So what should you do when you are hurt? Wow...
Cry. Go ahead and cry it out. If broken relationships are the investment, they are worth grieving. God weeps over loss. It's part of how we express our emotions. I never want to get to the point where I don't cry over damage done to God's design and creation.
Learn. These times of injury give us a chance to understand the deep ramifications of sin. This is not the place where you tag all of the bad people in your life. This is where you ask God to help you through it and invite Him to work in your life in such a way that you will not be a hurtful person. It has been said that, "Hurt people hurt people." Relationship wounds can cause the victim to 'return the favor' if you will. An eye for an eye is certainly a justice principle. But it is not a reconciling principle.
Trust. Ultimately, God is a redeeming God. Surely He hates it when relationships are broken. But He is in the redemption business... and that extends to not just me... but US. If a relationship is worth having, it is worth healing. This requires focus and faith. If relationship was the first target of the enemy, it was the first thing redeemed at the cross. Jesus repaired our relationship with the Father... by being injured to death. And this repaired relationship with God makes reconciliation among humans possible...
Not just possible... but probable in the life of the Christian. We are ministers of reconciliation. We have that power inside of us. But we have to remain focused in the middle of our pain. I have to look at a broken relationship as ground. This property is the prize of a battle that is being waged. When a person hurts me, that relationship is up for grabs. The enemy is trying to win it, which means we both lose. I have to fight the enemy. I don't want him to have it. I don't want him to win. My enemy is not the other person... but Satan.
Jesus said this, "A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance." (John 10:10)
You see, not only did God predict the pathologies of sin in the world after the Garden, but on that same day He gave a prophecy that there would be a relationship Restorer... a champion who would destroy the enemy and win back relationship. Along with the dark prognosis was a bright promise.
I don't want the enemy to steal my relationships. I don't want him to kill my relationships. I don't want him to destroy my relationships. I want my relationships to have life... and in abundance. But I can't rescue a damaged relationship if I hate the person who hurt me. I can't revive the relationship if I am living like the relationship is already dead and gone. I can't restore the relationship if I have already moved on to show them that I don't need them in my life.
Today you will probably be hurt by someone. You may be hurting right now. You may be crying right now like I am. You may be learning from a hurtful experience right now. But beyond that... and I am not diminishing your hurt... but beyond weeping and growing from the hurt... I hope you are believing the best. The apostle Paul said that 'love believes the best'. Believe the best today. Believing the best is one way of attacking the enemy. It is gaining back ground he is trying to take. It is planting a flag around which you can rally your troops of emotions.
I know you are hurt. But you must believe there is healing. I don't suggest there will be no scars. There will be. Some people say scars prove an injury. I believe scars prove healing.
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My name is David, and I want to know God more, and help other people find Him.