Getting Past The Hurt
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17-21)
We’ve all been hurt. It happens. Sometimes we get hurt multiple times, and over time it can wear us down. We begin to keep people at an arm’s length so as to buffer ourselves from pain and in some cases, isolate ourselves from others.
God understands pain. He suffered it greatly and still suffers from the pain caused by those He created out of love. He understands what it feels like to be ignored, betrayed, and to be made fun of and mocked. Yet, He continues to love us and take us back a multitude of times when we return to Him with repentant hearts. He is by no means a pushover, nor is He weak. Society identifies strength with the one who can speak the loudest. However, true strength comes with self-control, a fruit of the Spirit, and sometimes that means we don’t have to speak loudly or speak at all for that matter. Sometimes in different situations, we just need to be still and leave it in God’s hands. We don’t always have to defend ourselves nor explain ourselves. God will do it for us if it’s needed.
The heart can be delicate and can be hurt easily, but when we take our problems to the Lord, He heals the hurt through His Word. He never promised we’d live a life pain free but He did promise to be with us through the pain. Seeking vengeance will only lead to a vicious cycle of hurt and pain, anger and bitterness. This is not the place we want to be in.
The enemy is good at getting us into this type of cycle. He will poke and prod at our sore areas until they become infected and painful. Slowly he picks away until he devours us. The Bible warns us to stay alert and to watch out for our “great enemy”.
1 Peter 5:8
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
He works at us like he’s tenderizing meat. He will pound away at us until we become soft and easy to chew and then devours his prey. However, we must stay in the Word and pray daily so we remain strong and difficult to chew on, kind of like grizzle.
In times of hurt and pain, we must do opposite of what our flesh wants us to do. If our flesh wants to lash out, we must remain silent and/or walk away until our anger subsides. If our flesh wants to seek revenge, we must pray immediately for God to calm us down and take over the situation. It’s not always easy to keep silent or walk away but when we stay close to the Lord, we can become stronger and it will get a bit easier to do.
Communication is key. Holding things in will only keep you simmering which can lead to frequent explosions. Communicate with God but also communicate with the person you are having problems with. Nothing gets resolved if there is no communication to resolve it. It’s ok to be angry, but you must not sin.
Ephesians 4:26 states:
26 “In your anger do not sin “: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,”
In other words, it’s ok to be angry, just don’t let the anger overcome you and cause you to sin. Remember when Cain was angry that God accepted his brother, Abel’s, gift and not his in Genesis 4? Do you recall God’s words to Cain?
6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
God knew Cain’s heart was full of anger towards his brother and warned him about this. If he did what was right he would be accepted, but if he doesn’t do what is right, sin is crouching at his door and it wants him but he must rule over it. It’s the same with us. We must refrain from seeking revenge on someone when we are angry with them so sin does not take us over. We have to rule it or have self-control.
If you are struggling with pain and anger, take it before the Lord, surrender it to Him and ask His forgiveness. Then ask Him to replace it with love and forgiveness. Ask Him to take control of your emotions and to grant you self-control. He will help you if you ask Him. Do not let another day go by with anger, bitterness and pain remaining in your heart because we do not know when the Lord will return or call us home. We must stay alert and be watchful.