When I was in my teens I remember a statement my dad made (in jest); “Terry, you are guaranteed two things in life; death and taxes.” And then he would chuckle. Well, I would add to that list pain or hurt. As we journey through life we will get hurt by others (it could be intentionally and/or un-intentionally), the fact is we WILL get hurt. We can respond to the hurt in several ways; ignore it, get even, get angry, worry about it, medicate it or forgive it. Pastor Rick Warren has some thoughts on why love and forgiveness is the best way to deal with our hurts in life.
Love Forgives The Hurt
by Rick Warren
“Hate stirs up trouble, but love forgives all offenses.” (Proverbs 10:12 TEV)
Proverbs 10:12 says, “Hate stirs up trouble, but love forgives all offenses” (TEV). Which of the “all” have you not let go? Which of the offenses in your life are you still holding on to?
Maybe as a child you were hurt by an adult — a teacher, a family member, maybe even your parents. The Bible says that there will be severe judgment for child abuse, neglect, and abandonment; one day God is going to settle the score on that. When God says, “Honor your father and mother,” he’s not saying honor their sins or their selfishness or their poor decisions. He’s not saying ignore the pain in your life and put on a happy face and pretend everything’s great.
So what does God expect? How does he expect you to love the destructive people who’ve hurt you?
He doesn’t expect you to ignore it. He doesn’t expect you to pretend it doesn’t exist. He’s not asking you to gloss over it or deny it or repress it or make excuses for the people who’ve hurt you.
God doesn’t want you to fake it; he wants you to face it, because you can’t forgive until you face it. You’ve got to stop running, and you’ve got to stop blaming.
If you’re going to become the loving woman or man that God wants you to be, you’re going to have to deal now with the destruction someone’s caused in your past. If you’re still angry with a parent or anybody else, you’re still allowing that person to control you.
Don’t allow that any more. You’ve got to deal with the anger. You’ve got to face it before you can forgive it.
The Bible says in Proverbs 19:11, “When someone wrongs you, it is a great virtue to ignore it.” But you can’t ignore it until you face it and forgive it! Then you can let it go. Love lets it go.
We know that “love keeps no record of being wronged” (1 Corinthians 13:5 NLT). I don’t know who you need to forgive, but I do know today’s the day. Love lets it go. Love forgives. Because they deserve it? No. Because it’s what God did for you, and it’s the only way to be free.
Talk It Over