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How to Respond to Being Hurt

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You've probably been there, to the Land of Hurt.  In relationships and professionally, I've experienced pain that's rocked me to my core. One minute everything is fine and the next, the rug is pulled out. People I trusted to have my back stick a knife there. They robbed me of my peace.

The resulting feelings are anger, sadness, betrayal, confusion. How could this have happened? How did I not see this coming? When will I ever know peace again?

When this happens to us (notice I didn't say "if") we have a choice to make: we can continue to live in the anger, sadness, betrayal and confusion, or we can forgive. Recovery from being hurt starts with that simple choice, but the process is by no means simple. It requires making that choice again and again going forward, to refuse to remain stuck in the swamp of unforgiveness. We have to choose to take back our peace.

How do we get there? 

Own the pain.

Especially for us guys, this can be a difficult first step. We have to admit we've been hurt. That means admitting we're vulnerable, that we have weaknesses. And that's okay. It's the risk we take to be connected with other people. No relationship comes with an iron-clad guarantee we're not going to get hurt.

Offer forgiveness.

When possible, we need to share the pain, too. That's the first step in forgiveness, letting the person who hurt us know the kind of harm they inflicted. This isn't to make them feel bad. It's to help them understand their choices can cause pain and they can take steps not to do that again. Offering forgiveness without letting the offender know how much pain they caused is only an invitation to a devastating cycle of hurt.

Know that offering forgiveness is not a pathway to some moment of magical repentance, tears and hugs and "everything is just like it was before." The person who hurt you may not be contrite, and even if that's the case, your relationship will never be like it was before.

In the best case scenario, you can plot out a new course for a reconciled relationship. That could be even better than the one you had...but it won't be the same.

Don't be a victim.

If we're honest with ourselves, a big reason we hold on to pain and fail to seek forgiveness is we like the results of being hurt. We like the sympathy. We like living to the lowered expectations because of our "injured" status. We like the ability to hold onto our "righteous" anger because we've been hurt. 

In doing so, it may feel like we're maintaining an artificial kind of control. The reality is we're giving it the enemy.

There's nothing Satan loves more than an "injured" Christian. That person poses no threat to him. Faith is limited and so are relationships. That person has retreated into a shell. They live with continual anger and bitterness over being hurt and darn sure won't allow it to happen again.

Those are our choices. We can, like Christ, overcome the hurt, glorify God in our victory and use that experience as an avenue to reach others going through the same thing. 

Or we can hold on to the pain. We can remain weak, angry and afraid. 

You didn't choose to be hurt. Chances are you didn't deserve any of it. Neither did Jesus. He knows your pain.

Seek Him. Pray for His strength and patience. Pray for His healing. Pray for His guidance as you pursue peace with the one who hurt you. 


Posted by Chuck Chapman with
Tags: hurt, peace

From Faith to Faith

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For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17

You can't read the Bible like a regular book. There's just too much greatness that doesn't get caught with a casual skim. Every once in a while you read through a passage that makes you hit the brakes, makes you go back and ask, "What does this mean?"

Romans 1:17 is such a passage. When I come across these passages, the revisit is always worth it. When I look around for context, when I drill down to see what the language really means, there's always some extra-special meaning waiting there to be discovered.

The phrase here that made me do a double-take is "from faith to faith." Such an odd combination. What could Paul be talking about here?

I found no short supply of analysis of this verse when I searched. There exists some disagreement on how the verse should be translated, thus there's also not a consensus on what it means. What did jump off the page to me was this from Matthew Henry's commentary:

Faith is all in all, both in the beginning and progress of Christian life. It is not from faith to works, as if faith put us into a justified state, and then works kept us in it; but it is all along from faith to faith; it is faith pressing forward, and gaining the victory over unbelief.


This makes so much sense to me. We don't receive any kind of explosive, one-time revelation of God's righteousness. It's a life-long process, building strength over time. 

I accepted Christ at a young age, but my knowledge of God's righteousness was extremely limited. I knew enough to make a confession of faith, but the reality was that was just my jumping off point. 

Almost 40 years later the faith I have now is many generations removed from what I had as a boy. It's been shaped by doubt, by tragedies, by struggles and by overcoming; it's been shaped by experiences with others, through reading and listening, and most of all, through further revelation found in God's Word.

I don't know how I'd label this current version of my faith. It's a far cry from the "beta" version I emerged from the waters of baptism with. It's probably something like v. 36.2. 

I do know that it's stronger every day, not always in a sense of belief but always in a sense of presence and providence. And I also know it's still growing in changing.

Like Paul said in I Corinthians 13, "Now we see through a glass darkly." The evolution of my faith in this life is like trying to find the end of pi. It simply can't be done.

But unlike the futile search for the end of a mathematical constant, my search for a deeper level of faith is always fruitful. It always changes my life for the better.

I'm thankful that God keeps revealing Himself to us, letting us grow in Him at our own speed. I'm thankful for His patience with me when I get stuck.

And I'm thankful that some day it will all be fulfilled and we will reach the completion of our journey from faith to faith.

Posted by Chuck Chapman with
Tags: faith