by Macy Johnson
“God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you.”
(2 Thessalonians 1:6 NIV)
Hurt people hurt people. But we can break the cycle of pain with love. We can back off and give them time and space, as my husband suggests.
“Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’” (Luke 23:34 NIV)
When I am tempted to criticize those who offend me, the Spirit reminds me they are doing the best they can under their given circumstances. I try to put myself in their shoes and understand what is going on in their lives. Perhaps they are afraid of losing control and consequently try to manipulate those around them. Maybe I am in their way.
By lifting my offenders up to Jesus and laying them in His lap, I release them and learn to love them. It is impossible to hate someone you are praying for.
“A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11 NIV)
I’ll bet we have all been the subject of a scam recently. We are blindsided, like my husband when he hit a deer a few weeks ago. The Spirit directs us to pray for those who offend us, those who get in our way and mess up our day!
A list of imperfections swirl in my brain - fireplace logs improperly installed, sloppy painting, an unleveled stove, switched light switches, a wobbly ceiling fan, and the haze on my left cataract-replacement lens. We live in an imperfect world, full of hurt.
Only God is perfectly faithful and has promised to help us endure the pain of hurt so we can faithfully serve in His kingdom.
I will forgive those who have hurt me and ask God to forgive my unforgiveness. I hope you will, too!