If you’ve been alive longer than 15 minutes, someone has probably hurt you, or ticked you off. Maybe they meant to, maybe they didn’t – the hurt and the anger is still real.
We all have choices to make when someone hurts us. And it probably won’t surprise you to learn that God has a way to set you free from the hurt! While it’s inevitable that we will all get hurt during our lifetime, it’s not okay to stay hurt. God wants you to go free.
And the way you can do that is through forgiveness. Because forgiveness is freedom! Here are three things to remember when someone hurts you:
1. Aim to overcome, not wallow.
Let’s face it – when someone hurts us, we want to hurt them back! Or we want to go with the opposite reaction, withdrawing into the fetal position to lick our wounds.
When we hold a grudge or shrink into ourselves, we’re dealing with hurts in a fleshly way instead of a spiritual way. And unfortunately, that’s not the way to get healed of hurts! It just perpetuates them. But God wants to help you overcome the hurt, not wallow in it, and that’s done in the spirit, not the flesh.
Romans 8:13 says if we live according to the flesh we will die, but if we live by the Spirit we put the deeds of the flesh to death and we can live God’s abundant life. That’s a better way to live!
You could say: flesh wants justification and judgment, but the spirit calls for mercy and forgiveness. Wallowing wants to perpetuate the hurt – forgiveness wants to overcome it and walk away free.
2. People aren’t your enemy (even though it looks like it).
Remember, we have an enemy in this earth, Satan, who wants us to live in the lower realm of the flesh. So he sows as many seeds of division, strife and unforgiveness into our lives as he can. You don’t have to allow it! You can rise above it when you remember who your enemy is.
People are not your enemy! Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
When a person hurts you, don’t wrestle with them (flesh and blood). Recognize where that spirit of strife, division, destruction and offense is coming from, and take authority over the devil!
He hates us, and he’s sneaky. He doesn’t come marching up to you with a pitchfork and say, “I’m bringing trouble!” No, he uses people and situations to distract and torment you. Many times we don’t recognize where the trouble is coming from, so we don’t use our authority over the devil and overcome his tactics in the spirit realm.
Instead we just react in the flesh by wanting to retaliate, hold a grudge, or melt into a puddle of self-pity. Let’s be smarter than that and recognize when the devil is trying to undermine our faith.
3. If you spot him, you got him.
Paul tells us: “Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive . . . lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Cor 2:10–11). Let’s recognize when Satan is trying to distract us and undermine our faith through unforgiveness. Let’s turn the tables on him by forgiving.
I like to say, “If you spot him, you got him!” Once you recognize that the real problem is the devil, you win! He only wins through deception. He can’t overpower you because you are the one with all the power (Luke 10:19). I often say, “Oh no you don’t devil, I see you! So I resist you in Jesus’ name and you must flee from me” (see James 4:7).
When you feel hurt or ticked off at someone, stop and remember where all that trouble is coming from. The devil wants you focusing on hurts and disappointments so you don’t remember who you are, why you’re here, and what you’re called to do. He’s the king of distractions! Forgiveness is the best way to stop him in his tracks and live a life free from hurt.
This is an excerpt from Karen’s book, “’I Forgive You, But….’ 3 Steps That Can Heal Your Heart Forever.” Read the first part of the book here: http://iforgiveyoubook.com/