There is something that seems so satisfying about getting even. When we are hurt our first response can be to seek revenge, to show the other person how wrong they were, or at least share how wronged you have been. How do you move beyond offence?
Even when we know ‘two wrongs don’t make a right,’ we struggle when we are hurt. The feelings don’t just go away. What is the right response?
Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. (Romans 12:17)
Today I am imagining hurt or offence packaged as a big burden to carry, like a heavy sack. During our lives, in fact quite often, we will be handed a big lump of hurt or offence. We hold it, brood over it and get weighed down in the process. We wonder “what am I meant to do with this big lump of hurt?”
We could hand it back to the person that gave it to us in way of revenge.
We can drop it, and try and forget about it but, generally it just sits there, ready as a stumbling block for another day.
Or make vows to self protect, preventing the same thing from happening.
What do you do when you are hurt or offended?
In our hearts we know we shouldn’t stoop to another person’s level to repay them. It will never rid us of the feeling of being hurt. When we hurt others we are actually hurting ourselves even more.
Inherently know right from wrong, it’s written into our being straight from the hand of heaven. Some call it our conscience. I like to think of it as the finger print of God- His laws written into the core of of being so that we can be led from within with the help of the Holy Spirit.
“This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the LORD: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” (Hebrews 10:16
The more we heed His promptings, the easier His voice is to discern when we are at a loss of what to do. When we have done something out of line, it weighs on our soul. We feel it, we know.
Lately when I am faced with a decision, have been imagining the different options panning out and checking in as to how I feel about it. Do I regret my imaginary decision or do I feel a peace?
Lately am asking myself: what decision will I will be proud of myself for making in the future? What’s honorable before God and others?
Is there someone that you are holding a big lump of hurt or offence for at the moment?
Do you need to forgive someone, or yourself?
At times we can be tricked into believing that we have dealt with a hurt when really we have just become accustomed to doing life with it. It’s time for some soul searching.
If you are carrying something right now imagine taking it back to Jesus first before you try to do any form of reconciliation. Picture yourself dragging it to His feet and leaving it there.
It may help to go through the situation with Him; identify what happened, why it happened- could you have done something differently to avoid the situation (this is not for regrets sake but rather to help you move forward, to work out what can you learn from the situation and what you could do differently next time).
Then from that place ask for forgiveness and imagine the scenario playing out differently next time, pray for the other person. Leave freely. And if need be seek reconciliation.
In reality, you may find yourself back in the same place very soon- just because you have left your burden at Jesus’ feet it doesn’t mean other people have done the same nor should we expect them to. Even so, this practice is about us, you and I living freely. Don’t compare.
Commit to taking your heart burdens and all to the foot of the cross daily. Don’t lug hurt around with you and definitely don’t return it to its owner.
Let’s make a commitment to real, to authentic to be honest before God.
This post is part of a 21 day Worship Devotional though Romans 12. If you enjoyed it you may also enjoy:
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