How Does God Expect You to Love People Who’ve Hurt You?
“Hate stirs up trouble, but love forgives all offenses.” (Proverbs 10:12 TEV)
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’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 your hurt. 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.
Proverbs 10:12 says, “Hate stirs up trouble, but love forgives all offenses” (TEV).
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
What offenses in your life are you still holding on to?
What is the effect on your life when you forgive someone? How does it change you?
How can you honor someone who may have hurt you in the past?
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