You Hurt Me!
Off the Wall, November
16, 2012

Recently, a correspondent wrote to me and asked if I do a story on forgiveness. Normally, I do not write columns as per suggestions, but this one was a real challenge for me, and so I thought I’d try to give it a go.

Everyday in our lives we are faced with woes that set us back. These are things that interrupt not only our daily plans, but stop us dead in our tracks and cause emotional flare-ups “if we allow ourselves to be caught up in the confusion.”

A difference of opinion, a break up in relationship or false accusations by others can all lead to circumstances that result in hurt. I accent that word, because it is the one four-letter word that, in my opinion, has the biggest impact on our personal image of ourselves.

Being hurt by others can be devastating. “I can’t believe he said that,” or “I can’t believe she was that type of person” or just plain, “You know you really hurt me” are three expressions one may hear a lot. Regardless if it was spoken or kept inwardly, it’s a done deal when a line is being crossed unexpectedly.

Two things follow. Either there is an outburst of emotion or inward silence. The latter is preferred, as I see it, until emotions cool and a follow-up conversation can be had between or among the parties at hand. Emotions are so destructive sometimes. They can sever relations with things being said that, in normal situations, may not come into play. Let me site some examples.

John Hosenosle from Tucson, Arizona, was blessed by having a week off from his place of employment. One day he dropped in on his friend, Rudy, who was putting wood sheeting up on his wall. He was so thankful to have John stop in just at the right moment. He was a real “God send” if there ever was one, so he thought.

“I have to put this large sheet of wood up on my wall, Rudy. Would you please hold it in place while I drive in a couple nails?” I asked. His answer blew John away. “I can’t do that. I’m on vacation.” How hard would it have been to hold a piece against another wall? I think any person off the street would have obliged. But not Rudy. He was on vacation. Even though this was minor, Rudy was John’s so-called best friend. Would the relationship stay the same? Only time would tell.

Here’s another. A girl and guy were dating. He had really fallen for this girl. One day she asked if he would drive her to see her mother some 50 miles away. He obliged. On his return trip as he pulled up to her residence he noted a gray car sitting outside her place. She thanked her “boyfriend,” hopped out of the car and into another man’s vehicle and the two departed. One can only imagine what the boyfriend was feeling.

Third, a neighbor had a greenhouse in his yard. The neighborhood youth decided to bombard the glass with rocks and broke many of the panes. How do you think the neighbor felt. I can envision him saying, “My next store neighboring doing this to me?” I’m really hurt.

My correspondent wrote, “”Forgive” needs to be viewed in the context of ‘to err is human, to forgive is Divine.’ To forgive needs Divine help because it removes the transgression, even from memory and re-establishes the relationship to the state before. To ‘forgive and forget’ are mutually exclusive because you cannot forget what never happened.” Well said, my friend.

Relying on God for renewed hope of peace of mind is the solution for a troubled mind. Anytime someone is hurt, we must throw away worldly ideas of revenge and turn to God and His ways of pursuit. Prayer is the first step. I don’t have to tell you, God is listening 24/7 and you don’t have to pay $85 an hour to a psychologist.

There is nothing to be solved by letting emotions build. By turning over your hurt feelings to God, He in turn will direct the Holy Spirit to help you regain peace and particularly love for those who hurt you. You read it right – love.

Jake Peters of Jackson, MA, knows that perfectly. After being screamed at by community leaders for false accusations, He turned to God who remedied the situation. Jake now has such love for these people that one wouldn’t believe it if he didn’t know the history behind it.

Yes, to err is human. But if we look to God always, asking for His strength particularly in the midst of hurtful situations, He is always faithful to give us peace, maybe not as fast as we’d like, but in His time. For the saying applies, “Father Knows Best.”

- Paul J. Volkmann
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