This is a hard truth I really want to teach my children, I say it to them. I try to believe it. But way too often, I fail to live it.
Because, sometimes we get hurt. And in our hurt, we hurt others. We somehow want to believe that it’s really okay to misbehave because he did this to me. Or she said that to me. And in our hurt, we often are unable to react with the grace and love we know we ought to give.
Sometimes people that love us hurt us. Usually, unintentionally. And we have two choices to make. We can react with grace and love and forgiveness. Or we can misbehave.
Misbehavior can look like many things. Sometimes it’s a temper tantrum. Sometimes is a passive aggressive attitude. Sometimes its pulling inside ourselves to avoid future hurts. Sometimes it’s telling other people how badly you’ve been treated.
The struggle is, what do you do when you have been hurt? You want to react with truth and love and grace. But your heart hurts. Maybe you can’t tell the person that has hurt you. Maybe you try, but remain unheard. What do we do then? How do we continue to put our hearts out for the world, to love like Jesus commands, when it hurts so much?
As I’ve searched for the answer to this, I only have the “pat Christian Answer”. But somehow, deep inside, I know it’s the true answer. We turn to Jesus. Truly it’s all we have. Our spouses, our best friends, our mentors, they will all let us down when we expect from them that which is only God’s to give. True comfort, forgiveness and unrelenting grace.
See, I want the world to know when I’ve been mistreated. Or when I’ve done good things for people. Sure, I’d like to think I don’t want to be thanked, I certainly don’t want a parade. But sometimes, I do want to be appreciated. Sometimes I do want people to be outraged that someone could dare hurt me. But Jesus tells us that he will reward our deeds. He will comfort our sorrows. He sees all in secret and knows our heart.
So as I search my heart to find how to behave properly even when I’ve been wronged, mistreated, unappreciated or misunderstood, I know the answers. Even when I choose not to act upon them. Jesus is the only One whose praise we ought to seek and whose comfort will ever be enough.