Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
In Part 1, we talked about the idea of writing your hurts in the sand and carving your blessings in stone. In other words, what’s important should be the things that are engraved in stone and will last for ever.
When Abraham Lincoln sought to bring one of his most vocal opponents on to his cabinet, his Secretary of War said, Mr. President, I should think you would want to destroy your enemies.” To which Lincoln replied, Am I not destroying my enemies when I make them my friends?
Some paradoxical commandments
Maybe you’ve heard these sayings (from The Paradoxical Commandments, by Dr Kent M. Keith):
- People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered—Love them anyway.
- If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives—Do good anyway.
- Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable—Be honest and frank anyway.
- What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight—Build anyway.
- Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth—Give the world the best you have anyway.
And I will add, forgive those who hurt you and they may hurt you again—Forgive them anyway. Not an easy thing, but it is the best.
The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:13, I forget what is behind and sometimes we need to think carefully about letting go of the hurts of the past. People will hurt you—that is a fact in life that is often one of the hardest things to both deal with and understand.
When we have no control
Sometimes we have control over it—we did something that caused a person to react in a way that hurt us—but I would say most times we have no control over it—somebody did something to hurt us and we are in no position to change it.
No control. This brief statement really scares people. The humanness in all of us wants to have some control and we expend so much effort trying to get control—over our relationships, in our workplace, at school. The problem though is that we never had control and never entirely will.
This is a humbling truth that you must learn to accept. But you have hope. Romans 8:28 says, And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
In all things God works for the good of those who love him.
All things! That means every hurt, every trial, every circumstance—God will make it and mould it for your benefit! So today, read over these five key steps and start to move past the hurts in your life once and for all.
These five steps will help you move past the hurts in your life:
- Accept – This is really half the battle. You must accept the things that hurt you, the things people did to you whether they were intentional or not—you must openly accept them. Acceptance involves accepting your emotions, especially the ones you have tried to ignore and cover up for so long. By doing this, you will naturally be affirming yourself and will allow the healing process to begin.
- Talk It Out – Find someone who is a strong Christian and you can trust, then find a time to talk with them about your past hurts throughout the week.
- Rebuild – Once you have accepted them, you must now begin to reshape your mind, your thoughts, and your actions. You see, many people have accepted a distorted belief about their past: they think they are worthless, that something is wrong with them, or that nobody could love them because if they did then that person wouldn’t have_______(Fill in the blank). In this step you must reshape those old habits and it begins in the mind. Pray and read what God says in the Bible specifically related to your hurts. Begin to see how God really sees you, “Special, precious, his thoughts (for you) outnumber the very grains of the sand on the beaches”! This is the step that requires the most work but over time you will start to see results.
- Renew – In this step it’s important to keep maintaining and filling your mind and your life with godly things so you don’t revert back to your old ways.
- Love yourself! – Don’t be so hard on yourself. We all make mistakes, we’ve all done things that are wrong and hurt others, we’ve all hurt others—but that doesn’t define you. God defines you, when he made you he made you for a reason, a purpose, and he made you beautifully and wonderfully, accept that.
When you magnify God everything else becomes small and possible. You can change right now; it’s not going to be easy but it is possible with God by your side. He will be there with you smiling and encouraging you every step of the way.
It was Jesus who said: “But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!” (John 15:7)