Relationships and hurt oftentimes go hand in hand, wouldn’t you agree? Relationships, while important and wonderful, carry with them the potential of causing us grief and pain at some point during their existence.
We all know this to be true, however, the blessings we receive far surpass the risk we take when we choose with whom we invest our time and love. We simply can not allow the possibility of hurts to defer us from investing love into our relationships. Furthermore, we can not allow the potential of hurts or the memories from past hurts sour our spirit. Instead, let’s deal with our hurts head-on by recognizing some truths.
I believe it is safe to conclude that the hurt you experienced from that friend or family member would not be experienced had the same circumstances taken place by an acquaintance or stranger.
Think about that for a moment. Hurt is the result when an expectation you placed on someone you’ve invested both time and love in, is unmet. It could be as simple as the expectation to be kind and supportive, when instead your loved one met your need to be affirmed, with criticism and frankness. Something was said…or not said. Something was done….or not done. Whatever the case, you had an expectation that was not met and you walked away hurt because of it.
It’s so important to realize just how important our relationships are and be prepared to hear things that may hurt— but are speaking truth into our heart. Though hard words to hear, recognizing they are words that need to be said and appreciate that someone who loves us very much cares enough to speak them.
I believe it is safe to conclude that oftentimes our interpretation of a loved ones words or actions do not equal their realistic intentions. My husband and I often run into this dilemma. I have learned over our dozen + years of marriage that timing is terribly important! To exaggerate my point— if I ask my husband a question that requires thought and sensitivity while he is in the middle of processing the thoughts of a sermon, I should not be surprised when his response is quick and surface. Choosing to wait until he is better able to respond with a clear head and time to focus gives the expectation I have on my hubby’s response a more realistic platform. For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Finally, I believe it is also safe to conclude…that God can be in the relationship to heal and restore brokenness. Nothing is impossible with God. (Matthew 19:26) You might be thinking that the hurt you have held onto so tightly, for so long, is unforgivable and impossible to forget. But, I want to remind you of the biblical truth that no hurt is too big for God to restore. No “I’m sorry” will be said without His comforting peace or blessing. Not one single “I forgive you” will He leave you on your own to speak. We must be prepared to say both “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you” in every one of our relationships or they are doomed to fail. God is with us always and He is rooting for our reconciliation and restoration.
Nothing is impossible with God.
So friend, I urge you to take an inventory of those hurts you have stock-piled within the depths of your heart. Perhaps you have a few fresh wounds, or perhaps you’re nursing aging hurts that have caused bitterness towards others. Whatever the case, can we agree today that God desires for us, if it is possible, as far as it depends on you, to live at peace with everyone? (Romans 12:18)
So what now?
How can you pursue peace with everyone? Is there a conversation or two that you need to have with your people? Is there an apology or wrong that needs to be right, that you can care for? Ask God to reveal to you (if He hasn’t already) how you can pursue peace with all and then walk in boldness and confidence to achieve it.
Yes. Hurts hurt. But, Love is greater.