What to do when you’ve experienced relational hurt? Family hurt, friendship hurt, church hurt, etc. From a betrayal of a friend, to being left hanging unreasonably, to being judged and condemned, to being slandered at a church pulpit, or just being gossiped by people you thought you knew. Relational hurt is a different kind of hurt, because it involves another soul, and most often, someone close to us.
It does happen. I’ve had few hurtful experiences with people, and I may not know what kind you’ve went through, or what’s the worse one can experience, but we can all go to the Bible to know how to overcome it.
This idea has actually amazed me because the Bible’s advises didn’t mention very specific experiences that it is only effective to. Whatever we are going through, how different they may be, the Bible has the ultimate advice and wisdom.
Let me share three things you can do to handle relational hurt, as what I’ve also learned. These can really be very difficult (few people close to me can attest to that) but God makes us able to do them.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
The first thing to do is talk to God about it. Surrender to the Lord your pain, including the people who have hurt you. You can rant all you want about them, and still trust God to do something in your heart and in your situation.
The very challenging part is to speak blessings over those people. Even if your heart doesn’t fully mean it, speak it until you mean it. UNTIL. YOU. MEAN. IT. That means, you just don’t pray about it once or twice. Continually pray to let God heal and change your heart, and see how the Lord changes it for His glory.
And be you kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.
Forgive the people who hurt you, yourself included, if you need God to save you from you. Forgive nonstop. The seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22) isn’t really a threshold but an encouragement on not ceasing to forgive.
That’s impossible, and absurd, at some point, right? Especially when the people who hurt you don’t ask for it. But as children of God, we’re not meant to just do what’s normal for human strength. Our God is supernatural, and so are we called to respond—to perform beyond what’s natural.
We can forgive nonstop if we draw from the one who has an unlimited power to forgive.
Also, forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean having to tolerate and endure the hurt just to stay where you’ve been because you’ve been there for a long time. So, lastly…
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
Don’t stop seeking for growth even when you are hurting. Seek the place where God wants you to go, the land where there is overflowing milk and honey, the place that you’ll meet God more often. Jacob didn’t choose to stay with Esau because there’s another place where he and his people can grow abundantly, and Esau has somewhere else to grow on his own, too.
When you forgive, it doesn’t mean you need to stay. Sometimes, you have to move forward, to continue growing and learning in His grace. Ask God if you’re meant to move a step to another beginning or stay a little longer.
Life is a sequence of seasons that happen for many reasons, a sequence of changes and transitions. And in those seasons are different sets of people who God uses for you, and whom you are also being used by God for.
An ending of one season is the beginning of another. Choose to grow in grace at the ending, at the beginning, and through the transition.
These are three difficult things, yeah? You might be thinking that giving grace to your offender must be unfair, but if grace is fair, we wouldn’t even have it in the first place. Grace will always be unfair, as it is for the undeserved. These are difficult but are always worth doing.
Blessings and peace are on the other side of obedience and faith. You heal and free yourself from the hurt, not by hurting people back, but by absorbing God’s love for you and do to others what He does for you—forgive and love.
Even when people hurt you, the one and only Person who owns and controls the universe has always loved you since the beginning.
Let His love heal you.