I saw this on someone’s Facebook page a long time ago, and stored it away. They wrote, “Feeling betrayed? Have you been hurt by someone you trusted? Are you holding onto a grudge for something someone has done to you? Though these are natural and instinctive emotions, these feelings ultimately never lead to what God truly desires for us. In God’s Word, we find that only through forgiveness do we find the healing, comfort and peace that we so desperately need.”
I don’t know who originated the words but I thought it was a great post. These are wise words we would do very well to remember.
Being hurt goes with living this life. We live in a fallen world among fallen people who (like us) sin all the time. When others sin we sometimes catch the fallout from it and it causes us to hurt inside. The pain that can be inflicted is unimaginable in some cases as fathers molest children, wives cheat on husbands, or a friend betrays a confidence. The depths and varieties of sin are only limited by the human imagination and so we frequently find ourselves on the receiving end of someone else’s sin.
When we are sinned against we have a decision to make; will we forgive and move on or will we cherish the hurt and coddle the pain. To “cherish” the hurt means that you meditate on it, dwell on it; roll it around in your thoughts. You mentally play with the hurt turning it this way and that in your thinking and in so doing you ingrain the hurt deeper and deeper into your thought patterns. The pain becomes a constant part of you and becomes an aspect of “normal” for your state of being. You start to live “hurt” and “wounded” and as a “victim.”
When a person cherishes the hurt they are making a decision to remain a victim and stay hurt and wounded. There is no moving on or moving through when you cherish in your heart what sinful thing was done or said to you.
Another byproduct of cherishing the hurt is the person becomes bitter. Bitterness and grudge holding are of the same idea family. Basically, what it means is as the hurt is cherished the person begins to think they have a right to be angry and unforgiving toward the one who hurt them. They begin a campaign of revenge through unforgiveness.
Reminding the one who hurt them (repeatedly) of what they did, having angry outbursts, giving the cold shoulder and other displays of unforgiveness become commonplace and as sin increases so do the problems.
This kind of response is the result of living by how you feel. Feelings rarely can be trusted because they originate in the flesh and are contaminated by “self” and “self” is sin-sick. Feelings are not to be obeyed or lived by; they are not to guide us through life. While our feelings are a part of us and they help make us who we are they are not to rule over us. I find many women who come for counseling are in such a rut, they have come to live by their feelings of anger, bitterness, jealousy, and even hatred and these feelings now define them.
If you have been betrayed by someone you love there is only one possible godly response, and that is to forgive them. No, they may not deserve your forgiveness but I must ask you if you think you deserved the forgiveness that has been given to you by God in Christ.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32 (NASB)