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Archive for the ‘When People Hurt Us’ Category

Monday through Thursday’s devotionals laid out some ideas of how to handle ourselves when we get hurt.
~When we are under attack we need to run to God.
~Take our focus off the other person and on to our own heart’s need to change.
~As we step forward on our pathway to health we embrace a humble attitude of grace and forgiveness.
~Sometimes that path requires healthy boundaries, but other times God may call us to actively pursue peace.
~Today, we look forward.

We look forward to fun vacations and our morning cup of coffee and special dates with our husband and quitting time. We look forward to girls night out and Christmas presents and retirement. We like to plan and we enjoy the time of anticipation and most of the time, we feel our future holds positive things in store for us and those we love.

What if we take hold of those same emotions and choose to look forward in a positive way when someone hurts us? Is that even possible?

Joseph shows us it can be done!
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…” Genesis50:20

Paul knew it could be done!
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

And Paul even tells us how it can look in our lives:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Father, we want to look forward in anticipation to how you will be glorified through our pain and hurt….but it is not easy for us! Help us! Help us to see Your good hand at work through our hard situations.

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Monday through Wednesday’s devotionals laid out some ideas of how to handle ourselves when we get hurt. When we are under attack we need to run to God. We need to take a step back to focus on changing our own hearts to please God. Then, as we step forward on our pathway to health we embrace a humble attitude of grace and forgiveness towards the person who has hurt us.

But along that pathway, our natural inclination sometimes urges us to avoid that person rather than continue on in relationship. Peace seems impossible. Honestly, there are times distance is the perfect boundary to put in place and actually leads us towards a chance for future peace. But consider another option. What about facing those hurtful words and actions with gentleness. What about actively pursuing peace instead of ducking and running?

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Romans 14:19

“A gentle answer turns away wrath…” Proverbs 15:1

The Lord is willing and ready to guide us into our right course of action on our pathway to emotional health. If boundaries and distance will bring about God’s will, so be it. But if an active gentle pursuit of peace is God’s plan, than God help us to be obedient!

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Embrace Grace

Monday we looked at where we should go when we are hurt…we should run to God. Tuesday we discussed how to take the high road when we would really rather not…we ask God to change us and stop focusing on the other person. For the next three days we will touch on ways we can place ourselves firmly in the pathway of health even as others around us throw darts of hurtful words or actions. Today the focus is on grace…grace that leads us towards forgiveness and peace.

Grace!
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6
Grace!
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace…But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Ephesians 4:3 and 7
Grace!
“All of you, clothe yourself with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'” I Peter 5:5
“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13

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I wonder if you are like me when it comes to taking the high road? It just doesn’t come naturally! I have always had a nack and an appreciation for sarcastic remarks timed to the perfect psychological moment in a conversation or altercation. It amuses me in sick sort of ways! And may I just say, that is not the healthiest “nack” or “appreciation” when it comes to already difficult relationship issues.

So how do we take the high road when we would really prefer not to, when all our natural instincts are calling out to us to say something nasty or do something manipulative or put on a “super spiritual” pride in response?

Matthew 7:3-5 says this, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s ey and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’, when all the time there is a plank in your eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Jesus says to take our eyes off the other person’s issues, and instead focus attention on fixing any areas I may need to change. That person may or may not have been right in their hurtful actions towards us. What they said may or may not be true. And we are not obligated to change our ways to please them. Jesus is reminding us that we each have enough of our own junk in our lives and in times of conflict, our energy and focus should be personal heart change that pleases God.

Instead of dreaming up witty retorts, I need to say, “Lord, change me.” Instead of working angles to get vengeance, I need to say, “Lord, change me.” Instead of stewing over the incident days later, I need to say, “Lord, change me.”

Lord, we have run to you with our hurt and we trust in you. Now help us to take that hard look inside and help us to change the shadowing places in our hearts into something that pleases and glorifies you.

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“My slanderers pursue me all day long; many are attacking me in their pride. When I am afraid I will trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” Psalm 56:2-4

King David had his fair share of enemies, some of them uncomfortably close whom he looked on as trusted allies and friends. He penned the above words at a time of personal betrayal and peril. Like us, he didn’t always make the right decision right away when faced with a betrayal, but in this Psalm he gets it right! He identifies reality…he is under attack. He makes a smart commitment… he will run to God and trust. He then voices what he knows to be true…there is a limit to what a person can do to harm him when he rests in God’s care.

Where should we go when we are hurt, when we are under attack? Run to God!  Through prayer, through His Word, through meditating on Who He is, we always have a safe place to go.

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