People Hurting Each Other — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

People Hurting Each Other — Morning Devotions

The famous yet simple theme explored in the Bible - “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” Luke 6:31. It could change the world.

By Chris WittsFriday 8 Mar 2024Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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I think we all have difficult people in our lives who drive us nuts. They’re annoying, frustrating, exhausting. It seems no matter what we do, they’ll still misunderstand our actions and think the worst of us. It’s very hard to get along with some people. And what’s more upsetting is that you can be left asking – what did I do to upset them? I don’t know what I did. There is a wall of silence that can’t be broken.

Have you had that happen in your life? Sometimes our way of thinking about that difficult person must change, but they’re not going to change. It reminds me of what Henry Ford once said. Whether you think you can or think, you can’t, you are right. In other words, you are what you think. We do need to change our minds. Sometimes that can be hard work. Conflict is a major part of being human in our work, study, family, friendship circles. It was the late French playwright Jean Paul Sartre, who captured that sentiment with his grumpy one liner ‘Hell is other people’. That was in the 1944 philosophical play – No Exit.

Now what he meant is that other people are hell for us if our relationships with them are bad or they’re unhealthy. Imagine being lost on a desert island with a group of people that you intensely dislike at some point in our lives. Most of us experience mean people. They are intentionally hurtful. They’re unkind towards you. In one way or another, they might be strangers who unapologetically cut you off in traffic. Or a friend who purposely ignores your birthday or a coworker who will gossip behind your back. Yes, unfortunately, people can be unkind in small and big ways. But try to stand up for yourself and realise that nobody has the right to control you. You are worth more than that.

Difficult people can bring out the worst in us. When our emotions get in the way and we misinterpret and assume things and we avoid conversations thinking that well, maybe that’s the answer. Just ignore them. Before you start pointing the finger, have you ever thought that you might be the difficult person here?

Pointing fingers

Examine your heart. What is your hidden motive? Each of us have got the capacity to cause tension for someone else, particularly for those who see the world or interact differently to us. Sometimes we carry bitterness in our hearts towards that person who hurt us. But remember, bitterness never makes you better. Sometimes when people hurt us, we become bitter. We get angry, clothe ourselves in self pity. But bitterness hurts you more than it hurts the other person.

Bitterness is a self-destructive behaviour that really doesn’t do any good. The Bible has a command in Romans 12:18. If it is within your power, make peace with all people. You see Christianity is about peace. We should pursue peace with other people. So can you work towards a peaceful resolution? Have you tried to have an honest and direct conversation in a non-confrontational manner? Often this is all that’s required. The world encourages us to get even with people when we’ve been wronged, in other words, repaying evil with evil.

Freedom through forgiveness

But the Bible has a very different set of rules. It teaches us in Ephesians 4:32 be kind to one another tender hearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you. That’s not an easy verse to hear, especially if we’ve got tonnes of hatred and animosity towards one person. Forgiveness means releasing bitterness or ill will towards someone.

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Forgiveness doesn’t happen because it’s deserved but because it’s an act of love, it’s done, so both of you and the wrongdoer can move on. You do want to move on, don’t you? Don’t stay stark. We forgive others because God forgives us, even though we don’t deserve it. You can see that in Colossians 3:13. Try to remember that forgiveness is not just about the person who hurt us. It’s a process meant for our own growth. It allows our own wounds to heal, and this healing can only be done in full through God’s power.

In God’s presence, there is forgiveness. Have a look at Psalm 130 his power in us will allow us to live past our greatest pains and disappointments. Really, life is too short to live with bitterness and animosity. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that the wrongdoing somehow becomes less wrong or less important. But it does mean we’ve stopped allowing that wrongdoing to hurt us, and that we are no longer harbouring ill will towards the wrongdoer. But we’re allowing God to help us move on from what happened. But with God’s power we can be cut free from all that anger and pain. And given a new life.

Let’s Pray

Lord, sometimes I do get tangled up inside because of other people, people who’ve hurt me. Lord, I need to let go. I need to understand that with you in my life you can solve all these issues even if I don’t see it happening. Help me to remember, Lord, that I can’t change anyone. Only you can help me. Then to get on with others in a positive way. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.