“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long suffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” Colossians 3:12-13
All of us have experienced hurt in our lives. Sometimes these hurts stung and cut us deep within our soul. In the midst of the hurt, others seek to give us advice. Two phrases come to mind that people express during a time of hurt either by themselves or others share as advice. The first phrase is “forgive, forget and move on.” The other phrase is “I’ll forgive but I won’t forget.”
Did you know that these two phrases really go hand in hand? Yes, we need to forgive to remove the control the hurt and the person has over our lives at that moment. We need to give the hurt to God and allow him to heal it and we do need to move on in our journey.
Now, what about the not forgetting? Once we have forgiven and moved on, it is important to extend a hand of forgiveness and Christ-like love to the person who hurt us. But, we must not forget what brought the hurt into play not to have as a revenge when something happens but to know what lead to the hurt to begin with. In this type of remembering, we are taking the hurtful experience and turning it into a learning experience in order to avoid getting hurt or hurting someone else ourselves.
Once we have forgiven, forgot the hurt by giving it to God, and realized the events that lead up to the hurt does not mean we have to be best friends with the person who hurt us. But, it does mean that we treat that person with respect, we lend a hand to them when they may be hurting and we love them with Christ-like love.
For me personally, I have walked through this experience more than once. Someone hurt me and sometimes the hurt was deep. Though I so much wanted to hurt back I didn’t. Instead, I placed the hurt into God’s hands and allowed Him to heal me. In the midst of the healing process, I learned more about myself and my eyes were opened to events that may have led to the hurtful situation.
Though I did not understand why I had gone through the valley, God eventually unfolded His plan of how it would all work for His glory. In other words, there was a person who hurt me that became the person who was hurt. No, not hurt by me but by someone else or some situation. As this person began to walk through their valley, they came to me to vent and sort out what had happened and their feelings. You see, I had shed those very tears they were shedding and had felt that kick in the gut they were feeling at that moment. It was in my letting go, seeking forgiveness and learning from my experience that God had equipped me to walk through the valley with this person.
Yes, we all go through the valley of hurt from time to time. In the midst of this valley, we question God. We as Him why he would allow such a hurt to take place. Yet, when it is all said and done, we must realize that He is in that moment all the way through. He can turn that time of hurt, tears and anger into something that will eventually work for his glory.
Has someone hurt you deeply? How about forgiving that person and giving the hurt to God. Allow God to heal that hurt. Then, as you go through the journey look back on the situation and remember what you learned but use that knowledge for God’s glory, You never know when the tables will be turned and you will be walking through the valley with someone who is hurting. Who knows, it may be the very person who hurt you. From the eyes of heaven, it becomes a beautiful picture.