The other day I had a run-in with a man who treated me very condescendingly. I cannot even tell you the feelings that conjured up. Anger yes. Hurt yes. Embarrassment yes. My response was controlled anger, but my insides were seething. How dare he. . . I did send an email to my bosses about the situation letting them know my feelings on the matter. After work, as the situation replayed itself in my mind again, I realized I had to forgive him. And i did, but the enemy keeps trying to get my ire raised again. He loves to pour gasoline on fires of our hurts. But my Savior has a totally different perspective:
Matthew 5:42-47 (MSG)
Love Your Enemies
38-42 “Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look:
‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere?
Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you,
stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court
and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat
and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you,
use the occasion to practice the servant life.
No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.
So the letter was a bit of tit for tat; however, if I really want to live my life for Him, then I must take His advice. Yes, it’s advice~ for my benefit. I get to choose to allow the enemy to turn up the fire of my ire, or I forgive and watch the coals be doused by grace and go out. And it is grace that helps in living a happier life with joy as the outcome, not anger and hurt. Sometimes my human nature forgets God’s Word, reacts and does not let go easily of painful hurts from another; but I find with grace it’s possible to take Jesus’ advice~
. . . When someone gives you a hard time, respond
with the energies of prayer,
for then you are working out of your true selves,
your God-created selves.
This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty.
If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus?
Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you,
do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
Jesus sums it up in the Message Version like this:
48 “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects.
Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity.
Live generously and graciously toward others,
the way God lives toward you.”
"Live out your God-created identity." That touched my spirit. I am born again as a child of God. He is my Father, and I want to live as He created me to live which is above my strictly human nature.
What do you do when you are hurt by the words or actions of another?