Danger Of Past Hurt

People get hurt by other people on a regular basis. This is more true with the more friends and family that you have. If you only have a few friends or very little to no family, the chance of getting hurt drops dramatically, but you also have a lot less chance of being loved and loving someone.

In today’s society, many people are blaming their actions on someone else. They look back to a time when they were a child and got hurt by a parent, a sibling, a relative or some other friend. Usually this hurt was something that occurred over and over again, over a longer period of time.

Being hurt by someone is something that will happen. If it has not happened recently, just wait it is coming. The difference is how much that hurt really hurts.

When an enemy does something against a person, most people just accept it, because they half expected it to happen. Very few people expect to be treated nicely by someone who is an enemy. In fact, with most of the world, if they are being treated nicely, chances are they are friends and not enemies.

Treating the enemy nicely is something that God talks about and even commands.

Luke 6:27-36 New International Version (NIV)
Love for Enemies
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

However, what I want to look at is past hurts and the dangers of those hurts. As I stated above, the cases where someone gets hurt the worst is with a loved one, usually a family member. The one you love is the one that can and usually will hurt you the most. When they do something that hurts, it goes deep into the heart and soul of a person, because they lost trust and love that should have been there.

Many people grow up mad at their parents because of something that they had done wrong to them when they were a young child. Some of those things are very wrong, in both the eyes of the law and the eyes of God. Some of those things were done on purpose, with the purpose to hurt or take advantage of.

Other things were done by mistake and not knowing the best way to do things. Every person has things that they need to learn. In the process of learning those things, often there are many mistakes made. Many parents discipline in a way that was too harsh, causing pain and anger for many years to come. This is part of the learning process. Some parents learn over time how to do things better, while some never seem to learn to do it the best way.

The danger of being hurt comes in how that hurt is held on to. Thousands of family members are fighting with each other their entire lives, because they refuse to forgive each other. I have seen parents go to their death-bed refusing to forgive a child of some wrong done to them many years before. I have also seen children watch their parent die and refusing to forgive that parent of a wrong done when they were young.

Bitterness sets into the heart of a person that has been done wrong to, and he refuses to forgive and move on. Children refuse to talk to parents. Parents refuse to talk to children. Siblings refuse to talk to other siblings. All these things because of a past hurt and the bitterness that has set in.

With bitterness, there is no real joy in life. People look to things or other people to try to bring that joy. Always looking for the next thrill or person to love. All the while refusing to look to God.

Ephesians 4:31 New International Version (NIV)

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

God wants a person to get rid of all bitterness. Many, however, will say that they are not bitter. They say that they just cannot forgive the person and will not deal with them anymore. That is a sign of bitterness and not love.

We are told to forgive:

Ephesians 4:32 New International Version (NIV)

32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

God had forgiven you of all the wrongs you have done to Him. Jesus went to the cross to pay the price for your sins, so that you could be forgiven. Think about how many times you have hurt God with a sin, both small and large. Yet, God loved you enough to forgive, rather than holding a grudge against you and being bitter.

Hebrews 12:15-17 New International Version (NIV)

15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Do not allow the root of bitterness to grow and manifest itself in your life. Just like a little cancer cell in the body grows to the point of killing a person, so a little bitterness can grow and kill you. It can kill you and others around you. It sets a pattern in your life and the lives you touch, to where others catch that bitter root.

God does not want to see you ate up by bitterness and anger, because of a past hurt. He wants you to work at forgiving and showing His love to the person who has hurt you in the past.

If you have been hurt in the past by someone, give it to God. Ask Him to show you His love for you and His great love for the other person who hurt you.

Ask God to show you how much He has forgiven you, so that you can work at forgiving the other person. Ask God for strength to forgive and move on, getting rid of all bitterness.

The hurt and pain may always be there, but love can override those things. Relationships can be rebuilt in God. As long as you and the other person are alive it is still possible to mend that relationship. There is always a chance to forgive. God will make a way for it to happen if you allow Him to do so.


Independence Versus Dependence

Fourth of July is a time in America in which people celebrate the independence of America. It celebrates when the young nation had broken away from England to become its own country. They did not want to be controlled by or depend upon any other nation in the world. This new country wanted to be self-sufficient, self-sustaining–independent.

Parents push their children for independence. Once a child gets past the initial baby stage, they strive to work with their child to gain independence. The child learns to hold the bottle himself. Later the child is taught how to walk without holding a hand. Learning to eat with a spoon and fork is taught.

Learning to be independent does not end as a person grows up. It continues as an adult. People have to learn how to work a job and manage their money so that they can live on their own. Most do not want to be dependent upon others to supply their needs and desires.

While it is good to be able to work on your own and provide for your own needs, it is not totally correct.

Just working a job for money, means you are dependent upon someone else. You are dependent upon the boss providing the job with a paycheck. You are dependent upon people purchasing the services of  your boss, so that he can provide the job and the paycheck. You are dependent upon the job that the people have that purchase the services that of your boss so that he can provide you a job and a paycheck. And the connection goes on indefinitely.

No one can really survive completely independent of anyone else. The person who lives alone deep in a forest is still dependent upon others to some degree. Most likely he has a gun or a frying pan that he did not make himself. He relied on someone else to make. He was dependent upon that other person.

Most people will not try to live alone in the forest and may say that this illustration does not apply to them. How many people drive a vehicle to work? Each person that does, is dependent upon those who made the vehicle. They are dependent upon those who made and maintain the roads.

The ultimate dependence a person can have is on God. While people can provide some things and can meet some of the needs of a person, only God can provide absolutely everything. He is the One who gives each person the ability to provide something for someone else. He is the One who provides the materials for anyone to make anything.

Think about it, without God there would be no earth or air. Without the earth or air, you could not exist. God provides the very air you breath and the ground you walk on.

God gave you life when you were born. He breathed life into the body you are now using on this earth.

While independence sounds good, it is not a reality. Everyone is dependent upon someone else. No person is truly independent of anyone else, whether they allow God into the picture of their life or not.

Believers know that they are supposed to be dependent upon God for everything. However, many do not live in that dependence. Many try to do things on their own, and only when it gets really ugly do they cry out to God for help and guidance.

How many times do you try to do something on your own, and then after you fail, you pray to God for His help and favor?

It is easy to think that you can do it. That is the way the world has trained you to think. And there is actually an element of truth in saying that you can do it. You can do all things. However, do not forget the reason why you can do all things. It is because God is with you.

In Christ Jesus you can do all things, because it is He who gave you the ability and power to do them. Again, you are dependent upon Jesus, it is not your own doing or power.

Rely on God to give you the strength, wisdom, and power to do what needs to be done. Do this for everything you do. Live this way each day.

Without God you really cannot do anything. As you rely upon Jesus for your forgiveness of sin and your salvation, so also rely on Him to provide you for your daily needs and guidance.

God is there for you and is not kicking you out to have you be independent. He is not raising you up to be independent. He wants you to be dependent upon Him.

As you celebrate, if you live in America, the independence day of America, remember that you, and America, are still dependent upon others. Keep your dependence upon God, the only One who has absolute power in this world.

Ephesians 6:2-3 For The Child

“Honor your father and mother–which is the first commandment with a promise–so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:2-3

Parents everywhere love the verse right before these about children obeying their parents. These verses take it further in children need to honor their parents. Paul even quotes it from the Old Testament ten commandments.

Honor is giving respect and recognition to someone. In America when someone does something extraordinary others will give them some honor. They will be given a plaque, or some sort of memorial with lots of public recognition to what they did to honor them.

However, when someone just does the normal day-to-day living, people do not show much honor. In fact, most people will tend to find fault with the person. Children are the same.

It is easy to find something wrong in a person’s life. Children everywhere are blaming parents for everything wrong. They will talk bad about their parents to everyone. There is no honor for the parents.

Yes, every parent has done some things wrong and, yes, there are some who are exceptionally bad in doing wrong. Despite their wrongs, they are still the parents. Children must still honor them in that aspect.

Jesus loved you while you were still a sinner and nailing Him to the cross. You must show that same love to your parent who is doing wrong. Honor your parent as that person is your father or mother.

Remember that even if you are an adult, you are still someone’s child. You do have parents. This is true whether they are living or dead, divorced or married. They are your parents.

Are you showing honor to your parents? Are speaking good about them?

Or are you just talking about all the bad things they did? Are you just pointing fingers at their faults?

Show God’s love to and for them. Show them honor. In the end, God promised long life on this earth. This was the first command with a promise. Follow that command and see what God can and will do for you.

I pray today that you will know the love God has for you and your parents; that God will help you to love and honor your parents; that God will reveal to you ways you dishonor your parents; and that God will use you to draw more people to Jesus.

Luke 2:51 Obedience

“Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.” Luke 2:51

Mary and Joseph had traveled from Nazareth to Jerusalem, with Jesus, to go to the Passover Festival. They would do this annually as was the custom and requirements of the Law.

In the hustle and bustle of the great crowds there, when Mary and Joseph had left to go back home, they somehow missed taking Jesus with them. He was a boy of around twelve years old. They may have allowed Him to go off with some other boys His age, or just to wander around to look at all the booths.

When they realized that Jesus was not with them, they went back to search for Him. They found Him in the Temple talking with the teachers and asking them some amazing questions. Jesus told His parents that He had to be in His Father’s house–the Temple.

Mary and Joseph did not understand what He was saying. They, then, took Him and went home. Jesus stayed obedient to them.

Notice that Jesus had chosen to follow His parents. It can be presumed that He was enjoying His time talking to the teachers in the Temple, yet He set that aside to obey His parents. Jesus obeyed one of the ten commandments: honor your father and mother.

Paul later talks about obeying those in authority over you. Jesus had done this also. His parents were currently an authority over Him.

How do you live your life today? Are you obedient to those over you?

You are to obey everyone over you, as long as it does not break God’s rules. It is easy for some to say that they cannot obey a non-believer because they are not of God. Yet, Jesus obeyed His parents. They were not leaders in the Temple or even the town.

Imagine how Jesus must have felt to obey His parents, whom He had created Himself. Yet, He puts His divine self aside to be a human child and obedient to those over Him.

Are you willing to be obedient to those over you? You are to be just like Jesus. This is something to think about today.

I pray today that God will give you His wisdom in how to obey those in authority; that God will fill you with His love for all people; that God will guide your every step; and that you will do the right thing every time.

Hebrews 12:7 Hardship Equals Discipline

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” Hebrews 12:7

Everyone goes through times of hardship. During those times the most common question asked is “why?”. Whenever someone is going through a hard time, other people will try to explain it away, giving all types of reasons. The author here explains it very simply: discipline is because God loves you and is treating you like His child.

The challenge here is the understanding of discipline. Most parents will discipline their children for doing something wrong. The focus is more on punishment for doing wrong, then on correction to do right. Long before an act is thought of to be done wrong there should be training in how to do the right thing. This is where discipline comes in. A runner disciplines himself to practice daily and to work at running better and faster. If he does not do this, he will not succeed in running and winning. In this same way a person must be dedicated to living the Christian life God has called him to live. He must work at it daily to be successful.

During the time of training it does not always feel good or fun. It will be hard work. It takes a sharp focus and dedication. God is training you to be the best you can be in Jesus. He wants you to be just like Jesus. Jesus lived His life for God and for all people, not for Himself. God uses hardships to keep your focus on Him at all times. Hardships will cause you to lean on God and trust in Him and in Him alone. The world will let you down, God will not.

Today, or the next time you are going through a hardship, remember that God is using that hardship in your life to mold you into His image. God is not trying to beat you down, unless you are refusing to listen. When going through a hardship ask God what you need to learn and how you need to change. Ask God how you can bring Him glory through the situation. Do not grumble and complain about it. Remember God is in complete control of everything and knows your situation. He is using that hardship to make you a better you.

I pray that today God will help you to see all hardships through His eyes; that God will give you the strength to accept all hardship as from Him; that God will help you to grow more like Jesus everyday; and that God will reveal to you the blessings that will come on the other side of every hardship.