Be kind and compassionate to one another….(Eph 4:32).
I want you to take a moment to think about that person who’s hurt you. You know, the one that when their name comes to mind the wrong that was done to you comes flooding back into your memory bank. That person. Now, what do you do with those thoughts? If you’re like me, your first thought is about your own desire for justice or you stew over what they did, wondering how someone could ever do that to another human being. Then, I’m quick to carry that person into the room where I serve as judge over them, telling God what should be done in order for there to be true justice in my life over that situation.
If we have been wrongfully treated there’s nothing wrong with being righteously angry about it, but we must remember that we do not serve as judge. We cannot allow our anger to become sinful. We cannot take it to the place where our hearts become full of resent and bitterness. We have to let it go. We must be willing to submit our circumstances to Almighty God and not demand justice, but instead, pray for peace in our own hearts.
The Apostle Paul encourages us to be “kind and compassionate” to one another. What level of kindness have you shown this individual? How compassionate have you been towards them? If I could be really honest, compassion towards someone who has hurt me is not my first thought. I want justice, that’s my first thought. Mostly, because I’m concerned about what’s best for me. Not what’s best for my growth in the Kingdom of God.
However, I am compelled by God’s word to show compassion toward those who have hurt me. To extend grace to them that is without limit and love that knows no end. To pray for them. To honestly, pray for them with true compassion in my heart. If there is one thing I have learned is that people who hurt others are hurting too. They’re choosing to operate out of their insecurities, pride or fear and so they hurt people along the way. I know I’ve hurt people because of my issues. But, I long to be different. I want to value others over my own fears. I don’t want to treat someone terribly because I can’t seem to let go of my own need to be in control.
Be reminded today to pray for the person who has hurt you. Have compassion for them, because, in their own way, they are hurting too. Ask God to bring healing in their life. To bless their life with the peace and joy of Christ. Instead of seeing them through your own pain, ask God to give you the ability to see them as Jesus does.
Lord, I want to be a woman of compassion. Sometimes, I’m not. It’s hard because sometimes I get mad about it. I let my circumstances past or present affect how I pray for that person. I want to have compassion toward those who have hurt me. To see them as your beloved child in need of your grace. To see them through the eyes of Jesus. Let it be so, I pray, in Jesus name, Amen.