18 January 2011

Why is it so easy to hurt other people?

Did you ever unintentionally hurt someone? Have you ever said words you wish you hadn't said? Did you ever send an e-mail you wish you could retrieve and delete? What about saying words that in themselves were not that bad, but the tone which you used was not kind or helpful? What did you do afterwards? Did you beat yourself up over it? Maybe hate yourself for it? Now here’s a challenge: Have you ever tried to work out why you did it? Have you ever asked yourself, “Why did I get angry about that? Was it because something was outside my control? Was it because I resented the other person? Was it because there is something about that person that I'm jealous of? Is fear a factor here? Have I lost something? Am I hurting here?”

These are questions I’m learning to ask myself asking periodically. There are days when I simply cannot understand why I do and say the things I say; in the way I say them. I do NOT like it when I hurt people, or even when I do or say things which have the potential to hurt. From these questions, I sometimes move to even deeper and more complex questions which are harder to find answers to. Questions like “Why did God wire my brain the way He did? Why is it that I cannot seem to change the way I interact with people? Why can’t I be kind and gentle and loving like Jesus ALL the time?”

Sometimes I take these questions to God, and sometimes I struggle with them alone. Very occasionally I’ll consider them with a close friend or confidant. I don’t think that I’m alone as I consider these questions. How many people really intend to hurt other people with their words and actions? I truly believe that it is not that many. Yes, occasionally we do intend to hurt others, and those times are not good times, but generally I believe that most people do not want to hurt other people. So why do we do it? Why do I do it? Does it all boil down to original sin or is there more to it?

Someone recently said to me that “when we hurt others, especially when it is unintentional, we are often acting / reacting out of our own pain”. Since mid-February 2010, I have worked through a considerable amount of pain and baggage, with help from God and other people. I’m sensing that there is still more pain and hurt in my life that I need to allow God to heal. What pain? What hurt? I’m not ready to share that in this forum, especially as pain and hurting often involves other people, but I’m thinking about how I can let God continue to bring healing and wholeness in my life. God is the only One who can truly heal, and the best news is that He wants to. My attention was drawn to the following verse this weekend:

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. (Jude 24-25 NIV)
No matter which version you read, it is clear that when we are finally presented to God, it will be without fault and with great joy. Will the joy be ours or Christ’s? I don’t think it matters. It’s going to be a wonderful occasion. God wants us to be whole, complete, and without fault. That is His plan for us. This verse isn’t talking about now, it’s talking about the future, but it dovetails beautifully with Paul’s words in my favourite verse:

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6 NLT)
So where is this leading? First, I am reminded that, no matter what I have done, or how I feel, I need to remember that I am a work in progress, a work that God has promised to finish, and when that work is finished I will be without fault and there will be great joy. I’m also reminded, that I need to speak God’s truth to myself at all times. That truth is that I am His precious child, chosen before I was born, and greatly loved. Even when I fail to live the way He wants me to, I can be confident of His love and work in my life. There’s much more to healing than this, but for the present this is enough to focus on. I believe a time is coming when God will bring even greater healing and peace in my life. I’m not there yet, and it may not come completely on this Earth, but I know that it will happen, because He said it will.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments with hyperlinks to other sites will not be published on this site.