Three Difficult Decisions

12 Mar

When you have been sinned against or disappointed by someone else it can be very difficult to know how to respond. It is very tempting to just go with the flow and do what comes naturally. Unfortunately, most of us have been practicing sinful, selfish responses to people who hurt us since we were children. If we are going to honor God that means when we are hurt or sinned against we need to stop, think and act in ways that are consistent with our new live for Christ and not ourselves worldview.

What does that mean exactly?

Here are three decisions you need to make when someone has hurt you:

1. Decide that you are not going to respond to the person on the basis of what they deserve.

We are born imitators. You smile, I smile. You attack, I … It takes self-discipline and a work of the Holy Spirit, not in that order, to turn that response on its head. But turn it on its head we must, because we serve a Savior who did just that and calls on us to do the same.

2. Decide to respond in a way that will put the other person’s long term good first.

When we are sinned against we often think that we are the ones with a problem. But, it is much worse to be stuck in sin without knowing it. Therefore, even when we are sinned against, while we hurt and while we are disappointed, we should begin by praying that God will help us respond in such a way that will actually help the person change. Now, they may not. That’s God’s work. But our responsibility is to focus on making their path to repentance easier, not more difficult.

3. Decide that from your facial responses to your tone of voice to your actions you are going to show the person who hurt you surprising grace.

This of course begins with faith. Trusting that God is in control, trusting that God is good, and trusting that He is working in the middle of this difficult moment for your best. When you believe that and apply that, it means you don’t have to punish or manipulate the other person with glares and bitter words but can instead use God’s methods to help them move towards repentance and change.

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