The Mask of Hurt and Pain
Throughout our lives we all have had situations that have happened to us, whether it was a family member, friends, or a co-worker. We all have all been offended by someone or something in our lives that has caused us to become hurt. But what’s most important is what we do with that hurt.
When deflecting from hurt we tend to do a multitude of things. Like bottle it up and hold on to it. Many of us mask the hurt with other things such as; humor and anger. But more frequently we see hurt people turn into workaholics. But what if we just simply, forgive the person that has offended us.
The word “forgive” is the Greek word aphiemi. It means to set free; to let go; to release; to discharge; or to liberate completely. It was used in a secular sense in New Testament times in reference to canceling a debt or releasing someone.
The Bible teaches us that unselfish love is the basis for true forgiveness, since love “does not keep an account of the injury.” (1 Corinthians 13:4,5). Forgiveness does not condone the offense (Isaiah 5:20).
It does not pretend that the offense never happened. (2 Samuel 12:9-13) God forgave David for his sins but did not shield him from the consequences.
So how do we start to heal from the hurt and start to forgive? Firstly, remember what forgiveness involves. You’re not condoning the act but you’re simply letting it go. Another way of forgiving is to be empathetic. Remember no one is perfect as it is described in James 3:2, “We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.”
Another way is to be reasonable. Think about the things you lose while waddling in your hurt. For many, sleep is a common thing we tend to lose, when we hold on to grudges and pain that situations and people have caused us. Is this hurt worth losing your sleep over? Absolutely not, when we hold on to hurt and pain, we stress ourselves out to the point that we began to harbor negative emotions. Meanwhile the person or situation that committed the offense is at peace and living life accordingly. Colossians 3:13 states that we should bear with each other and if you have an issue with someone forgive them.
Stop dwelling on the past (Isaiah 43:18)So often people say, “But I can’t forget what happened”. I get that. I wish I could hit delete on a few old hurts and never remember them again. Dwelling is different from remembering. Dwelling literally means a place you live. Do you spend your time turning an old hurt over and over in your mind? Accept that forgetting isn’t an option, but dwelling on that old hurt is a choice. Choose to replace those thoughts with new ones. Resolve to stop bringing up the past and focus on today (Philippians 4:13-14).
Finally act quickly. What does that mean? It means, work on forgiving as soon as you can, rather than letting your anger fester. Ephesians 4:26,27 states “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.
“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”
― Oscar Wilde
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”
― C.S. Lewis
I close with simply saying this; forgive those who have offended you, and who have hurt you. Not for them but for you. I challenge you to find it in your heart to forgive, that family member, that friend, that co-worker. Forgive them so that you may have peace in your life.