“Look, LORD, and consider,
for I am despised.” … (Lamentations 1:11).
There are unfortunate times in our lives when we must experience the consequences of the sins of others. It is a sure reality. In fact, it is unavoidable. It feels unfair and unjust. Our hearts want to scream within us of the wrong we feel done to us.
What do we do when people hurt us? How do we handle it when we must now live with the consequences of the sins that have been done to us? How does a person who has been raped deal with the STD they now received? What about a child who has been physical, emotionally or sexually abused? How do they deal rightly with the aftermath and trauma done to them? How about someone who lost a loved one due to murder, a friend who betrays you or a family member who keeps choosing their own wants and desires over caring for you? What is the right approach for a Christian dealing with such deep injustice?
I will not get into the legalities of such matters. Deal rightly with the law in cases where the law needs to be involved, and seek professional counseling to help you process through what has happened. Where I want to focus is your heart. Let’s be honest, your heart is the thing that has been damaged the most. Although there may be outward consequences, scars or maladies these are not the most damaged pieces of your life from the wrong done to you. If and when those things heal, your heart won’t unless you deal rightly with these steps towards freedom.
1. Forgive the offender. This is not easy. However, without forgiveness, you’ll never find freedom from the wrong done to you.
2. Let it go. We can forgive, but replay the wrong done over and over and over again. Entrust your situation to God and let Him handle it. Set it free.
3. Find freedom from shame. Don’t carry that weight with you. The wrong that’s been done to you is not your burden to carry. Unfortunately, some people in their own pain have probably tried to convince you that what happened to you was your fault. Set those comments aside and let go of shame.
4. Be reminded that God loves you. I know it feels unfair. It doesn’t make sense and you question if God could really be good with all this going on. Don’t doubt His love for you. He really is working this thing out, just hold fast to His love for you. He’s not punishing you.
5. Let go of your demand for justice. This is a hard one. I’m not saying we shouldn’t seek justice, we should, but if we never receive the justice we believe we deserve we have to learn to let that go. God is ultimately in control and trust me, He won’t let that wrong done to you go unnoticed. He’ll deal with it in His way.
6. Believe that God really does work all things together for good. Sometimes its hard to see the bigger picture. Especially in the midst of our pain. Yet, God sees and knows the whole story. Keep holding fast to His promises and you’ll see Him start to redeem the wrong done to you.
7. Don’t seek revenge. Remember, it’s your heart that has been damaged the most. Whenever we seek revenge it only shows that we have not dealt properly with our pain. God is the avenger. Let it go, set it free and trust God.
Lord, there are times in life when things become very painful. There are wrongs done to us that seem so unfair. We live in a fallen world. Our hearts need your love if we’re going to make it. We have joy in you. We can rest with hearts that are free in your joy in love. I submit my hurts, pains, and wrongs done to you and set them free today in your name, Amen.