When You Hurt Someone

Boy, I opened an email today and was struck speechless by reading someone’s words. A misunderstanding, a mistake, and I really hurt someone. Never ever would I hurt this person on purpose; but I overlooked a personal request. As innocent as it all rolled out, it hurt someone nonetheless. I sent back an explanation and apology immediately, asking for forgiveness, and making attempts to right the wrong.

It’s been a long, long time since I was held suspended in mid-air, with nothing to hold on to, no excuse, no immediate balm or resolution. Has this ever happened to you? Has something happened that you might have had some control over, but it slipped through the “cracks” and ended up hurting people, especially someone you care about? How do we handle this, what do we do?

First thing we do is humbly repent and seek forgiveness. Sincerity is a must. Then we pray to God for help and seek His Word in Scripture. “Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt.” Ps 51:9  Mentally, I am beating myself up, asking “How could I have forgotten, how did I miss that, why wasn’t I more careful?” Most of us do this very thing. We continue to berate ourselves, feeling bad, and inadequate. Then there needs to come a time when we know we’ve learned our lesson and now we need to focus on reconciliation, on recovery, on moving forward. Psalm 51:10 goes on: “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.”

This person is a long-time Christian “sister” friend of mine. We both know I made a mistake. We both know I am humbled and am following an action plan to take care of what should have been done. I will not do any good by continuing to lash out at myself and use negative words in my head. Indeed, what is done has been done. However, I trust that my prayers to the Lord will be answered and guide me.

If you’ve suffered a similar situation, know that God loves you and wants you to experience these times. We all need to pause and take inventory of what we do, why we do it, and how we do it. We only learn when we are faced with adversity, no growth happens when we are kicking back, enjoying “easy street” in our life. Know that even though the other person may not forgive you, Christ died on the cross for you and me and we are forgiven! Avoid taking on your emotions alone; talk to a godly friend who can help you find your way as you read Scripture, affirming that the only way, the only truth, the only life is Christ. We grieve the error of our ways and then we continue to serve God.

We live, we learn. Above all, we love. During this Easter season, we remember that our human sinfulness tortured and put Jesus to death. We all had a hand in His crucifixion. But through His death and resurrection, we are gathered up and promised eternity with Him! Hallelujah!

God be with you.

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