By, Rachel Moses
Choosing to love people means giving them the power to wound us. Allowing ourselves to be loved does the same. It’s far from logical. It’s vulnerable, honest, open, and sometimes scary. It’s the most thrilling, powerful risk a human being can take.
And sometimes risks go wrong. We live in a fallen world full of people with desperately wicked, deceitful hearts (Jer. 17:9) Before you turn away from the mirror, yes, I’m talking about us church people, too. We dress up so well. We know the words to say, the songs to sing, the right time to "amen"…and we too quickly forget that if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 Jn. 1:8).
The truth is, we hurt each other - sometimes on purpose, sometimes because of personal pain, sometimes because we’re careless, and sometimes completely unintentionally. But the fact is, hurt happens. And it’s not ok. It reminds us daily that the place we live isn’t home. The place we live is cursed. We groan within ourselves, waiting for our bodies to be redeemed, waiting for our hearts to no longer feel pain (Rom. 8:23).
And in our groaning, in all the not-ok hurt that touches every human life, we have the power to choose. We can choose to pick up the hurt, focus on all the pain it causes, carry it close to us, and let it cripple our souls.
We can take it to the throne of grace, humbly admit to God (and sometimes trusted others, too) how deeply it’s affecting us, acknowledge any bitterness, anger, or wrath with which we’re responding, and let Him hold it, for it is too heavy for our fragile hands.
Satan wants us to believe we have no power when we’re wounded, but that’s a lie. Two hands exist which were wounded once for all the pain the world would ever experience. They retain the scars God could have removed, proving they are strong enough to hold our hurt. And when they do, we are free to love again, to both offer and receive grace, and to live full, healthy lives of childlike faith and wonder.
Hurt happens to us. Staying offended is a choice we make. There is healing and freedom at the throne of grace.
The discretion of a man deferreth his anger,
and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.