I was inspired today by 3 friends who were talking about “tearing down” versus “building up” in their own unique ways today — and about how others tearing down themselves and us can present a profound opportunity in how we respond:
And I found this video:
I’m reminded of how a hurt or abused dog might lash out and bite others — even people who are trying to help them.
We never know what hurt or abuse someone else is dealing with — so many times when we get hurt by others, we either think “What did I do?” or “Why are they so hurtful towards me?” And it might not even be about what is between the two of us, but it can be left over from something else.
So if we get hurt, and fall into offense instead of forgiving them (regardless of whether we believe they deserve our forgiveness, but solely because they need our forgiveness and love in order to heal) — if we withhold that forgiveness and love, we are left with them remaining bitter and with bitterness growing in our own hearts as well.
It can be hard to forgive when we are wronged and they don’t deserve our forgiveness — and that is why Christ demonstrated this to us on the cross — extending His forgiveness and mercy to us, undeserved. And taking hold of that grace frees us to forgive, to pay it forward because we could never do enough to pay Him back.
I’m sorry that you got hurt. I’m sorry that whoever hurt you was a broken, hurting person not abiding in the Spirit of God and loving you. I hope that you don’t see me responding as anything but a virtual hug of love, of forgiveness, of remembrance of what Christ did for us and calls us to do in return.
I’ve been dealing with something myself recently where it was hard to understand why, hard to not just see evil men standing against me, hard to forgive — and it was hard for me because I had forgotten how much I had been forgiven, I had let my heart grow cold and hard in certain areas instead of letting Christ reign supreme in every area of my life. I’ve confessed this, repented, and I’m surrendering whole new areas of my life to see Christ mend and heal and strengthen me with peace I didn’t have before. And I’m confident that when you are ready and ask Him, that He will move those same mountains for you.
And what is amazing, is that we can be transformed from a hurt dog that hurts others — to a trustworthy companion when joy, forgiveness, and love is restored. Going through challenge together — working through differences — restoring what was once broken — proves through the fire a trust that has been tested and proven.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:12-17 ESV