Carol Brennan King From my journal of May 27, 2020
Recently a friend contacted me about how someone sought to hurt her and succeeded. And I think what this friend really wanted was to make sure was that this former ‘friend’ paid for the pain my friend suffered and the pain caused to the one she loved.
It would have been easy to sympathize with her, but that would have been wrong, and in the end would not have helped her at all. Instead, I cautioned her to allow God to “balance the books,” so to speak, as he did in I Kings 1 and 2, a passage I had just read.
It is easier to say that, about God balancing the books than to actually do it, trust Him with the injustice of it all. But we are called in Ephesians 4:32 to “be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has forgiven you.”
Yes, that forgiveness can be a difficult transaction, especially if the offender never asks for forgiveness, if they never admit their offense and apologize. When that happens, we are tempted to descend into our own pit of sin, of resentment, of anger, and perhaps jealousy because it may seem like they escaped any kind of consequences or punishment. We are left with nothing but memories of our hurt.
But God’s way is the only right way. We must trust God to do what is good and right for us and the offender. When we choose to focus on those who have offended or hurt us, we make things worse. Instead of moving on in life, of focusing on our blessings, we become the one who is hurting ourselves, every time we rehearse the pain inflicted on us.
The offender has gone on in life, probably forgetting all about what happened. In truth, sometimes we even misinterpret what someone says or does in ways that we experience a wound they never intended to inflict.
The point is, when we relive hurts, we become the one inflicting the pain. Now, notice something here. You do forgive when the person comes to you and asks for forgiveness or admits they did wrong and are sorry for it. Until that time comes, every time the hurt resurfaces in your mind, you are to give it to God, and trust Him to take care of it. That part is not your job. And that does not mean you harbor or carry around bitterness or anger.
If we feel hurt or offended, we need to take that hurt to God. We need to tell Him how we feel, how hurt we are, how confused, and ask for His guidance. When we ask for His help or guidance, we must go to the Word, our Bible, to see what He has to say. That’s where He often speaks the loudest. And finally, we must leave that pain at His feet. One thing we take away from that conversation with God is a readiness to forgive, and to free the offender from the guilt they feel which might bring them to confession and restoration.
If that never happens, if they never make it right, you still need to leave the situation with God. He can be trusted with it. And you must remember, it is you that keeps the pain alive with every single rehearsal of the transgression. It is you that keeps hurting yourself.
Remember, we are called to think on or meditate on those things that are true, just or honorable, noble or right, pure, lovely, of good report or repute, any virtue or excellence, or anything praiseworthy. Philippians 4:8
Personal hurts and wounds surely don’t fit into the parameters we are to think on. I have those words on little piece of paper on my computer screen at my desk because like you, I have moments when I need to do a thought check.