Tag: hurt (page 1 of 2)

Does God Want Us to “Get Over” Our Past?


used from www.careerealism.com

I recently had a conversation with my friend about how we heal from our past emotional wounds. While we talked he shared some of his that he is still healing from. Toward the end of the conversation my friend shared a quote he had heard at a conference. The speaker said something along the lines of, “I don’t care about your past. God doesn’t care about your past. So we need to stop worrying about our past and just get over it.”

You know those times when someone says something so profound that it drives down deep into your heart? This was not one of those times. Instead I immediately felt that everything about that statement was wrong. Specifically I have two issue with this statement.

Biblical Accuracy

First, I do not think it is biblical. I looked for this idea in the bible and could not find it. My friend did not explicitly say that the speaker referenced a specific verse, but my assumption is that this comment is based on taking scripture like Philippians 3:13-14 out of context. In this verse Paul talks about “forgetting what lies behind.” This passage speaks to God’s promise and our need to forget our past transgressions, or sins, for the purpose of moving toward God unrestricted by them. This passage also reminds us to not lean on His past mercies, but instead depend on His new grace for today. His mercies are new every morning.

Our Influence

Whether your audience is one guy sitting across from you at Starbucks or a stadium of 10,000 people, you have to be aware of what you are telling them. When you step into the role of counselor, or in this case leader, what you say matters. Chances are the person is coming to you because they trust what you might tell them. If what you tell them does not line up with scripture, then stop and consider the implications of your advice before you say it. In almost every situation, “Just get over it” is likely poor advice and will only serve to make the situation more difficult.

Sadly, I know all too well that trying to “stop worrying about and just get over” deep emotional wounds is nearly impossible, if at all. There are some wounds that are so deep that they require Jesus and an intentional approach toward seeking healing. As a trusted leader, teacher or coach you must be careful in what you say because people will take it to heart.

The Truth About your past

There are parts of our past that God forgets about, but those parts are our sins, not our hurts. And to be clear, Him forgetting is not the same as Him not caring. In fact, God cares so much about our sin that He sent His son to earth to die and atone for our sin because He could not bear to be without us. That is how much He cares. In our confession Jesus, God casts off our sin. That is the extent of God’s forgetfulness.

Just as with our sin, God cares about our hurts. God does not need or want you to “just get over” your past; He wants to heal you from it and provide purpose for it. God’s desire to heal us from our past is most evident in the fact that He sent Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Routinely Jesus makes allusions to Himself being the Great Physician, sent to heal us. When speaking of the Holy Spirit, Jesus refers to Him as a Helper and the Amplified translation includes the variations on the translation of that word: Comforter, Advocate, and Counselor. If God aimed for us to “just get over” our past then the characteristic of Healer and Comforter would not have been present in Jesus or the Holy Spirit.

God cares about our hurt and even more about healing them. Our inability to “get over” our past is not an indictment of God’s ability heal it. Nor is it one of His faithfulness to us, but rather it reveals our deeper need for Him. We heal as the Holy Spirit gently moves us through the difficulties of our past, revealing purpose, intent upon us coming out the other end whole and closer to God.

Healing takes a lot of time and prayer, but take heart for “surely He has borne our grief and carried our sorrows.



Hurt People, Hurt People. (2015)

hurt-peopleIn Part 1 I made an obvious statement, that there are people in the world, lots of them, who are hurting. But that wasn’t the point. Stating that fact isn’t any more helpful then saying there are hungry people in the world. It’s nearly useless. So the point wasn’t to draw attention to the seemingly never ending supply of hurting people. The point was to understand that there are those among the hurting that are drowning in a pool of deep despair. Those that no matter how hard they try, just can’t seem to make it to the edge to hold on, so they can find relief, if even for a moment, from the waves of hurt crashing into them. They feel helpless and that only makes hurt worse. That was part one.

I’m not a counselor or a social worker. I’ve provided counsel at times, but I’m no professional. I haven’t done clinical work and the only understanding of psychology or counseling I have comes from a high school psych class and two master’s level pastoral counseling classes. All that equates to just enough knowledge for me to suggest that you pay a counselor if you need that kind of help. I do know that one of the more common responses to hurt is for the person to hide it away, pretend they’re fine and quietly struggle with it. Mostly this is a defense mechanism to prevent any further hurt. What I’ve also seen is that hurt people hurt people. I know that because I’ve been that and I’ve seen others in that place. I’m sure that it isn’t always intentional, but that doesn’t lessen the sting of it. That’s just the way it is. People that are hurting tend to hurt others that come close to them. Because I’m not qualified to give legitimate reasons why this might be, I’ll speculate for a moment. Maybe the saying, “misery loves company” is truer than we want to believe. Maybe some hurting people hurt others because they need or want others to feel their pain. Or, maybe some hurting people are so consumed by their hurt that they’re oblivious to how others are affected. Maybe it’s on purpose, maybe it isn’t. Since I’m not a professional, I’ll defer to the one thing I do know and believe to be true; scripture. I think hurt people, hurt people because “hatred stirs up strife. If I can postulate that, then pain stirs up misery. If anger begets anger, then hurt begets hurt.

If you’re hurting and reading this, this post isn’t for you. Keep reading, though. I want you to know what you should be looking for, but the rest of this isn’t intended for you. If you are hurting, I’ll just say this. I’m sorry you’re hurting. God doesn’t want you to hurt. Psalm 147:3 says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” I hope and pray that there is someone in your life that can help bring relief and can introduce you to the One that will. I suppose the entire series is written for those that aren’t currently hurting and more specifically, Christians. We’re the ones with the responsibility for proclaiming Hope to the rest of the world. I think delivering that message starts with those who are hurting.

As Christians it’s important to understand that hurt people hurt people. People that are hurting, especially if the church at large contributed to that hurt, may say or do things that appear hurtful. Mostly it isn’t personal. Even if it is, our response should be to reach beyond the “hurt begets hurt” cycle and offer a gentle response. We exist for the purpose of healing not hurting. Paul sounds it out clear when he says, “All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.” God helps us through our hard times so that we can help others through theirs.

Even though we’re commissioned by Jesus to love others, we can’t force it on them. We may well know that what we have in Jesus is for the hurting heart, but that doesn’t mean that the hurting person will always welcome you as their hero. It takes patience and continued gentleness. I’m not saying that YOU personally are the answer to the answer to the world’s woes, that’s Jesus, but you can be the answer to someone’s woes. If someone in your sphere of influence is hurting, be patiently gentle with them, offering your hand to help and your shoulder to cry on. And try not to be shocked or offended if it’s rejected. It probably will be initially, remember that they’re hurting, so be patient with them.

I’ll end with this, we don’t cause hurt. Using The Word to belittle or demean someone is wrong, even if you do it under the guise of “calling out sin.” I’ve written a lot on that topic, but calling out sinful behavior has to start INSIDE the church. The bible wasn’t given to push people from God. It was written to reveal Him to ALL of humanity. If not for all, then it’s useless. If hurt people hurt people, then healed people heal people. We’re healed people. Healing is as much our game as love, grace and forgiveness are.

Hurt People (2015)

Hurt PeopleI’ve been considering doing this for a few weeks. As I’ve written about people inside the church using Jesus to hurt or reject people, my heart has been so heavy. In 2010 I did a five-part series called Hurt People, Hurt People. Loved People, Love People. I think it was some of my best writing. Not because sentence structure was spot on or my grammar was impeccable. And not even because I think that my writing voice was solid. Back then I actually didn’t know who I wanted to be as a writer. I think it’s some of my best writing because God used it to direct my heart in some grand ways. For the last 5+ years it’s been a major part of my growth as a husband, father, friend, follower and leader. Since then, my readership has grown and my voice is a tad more solid and I want to share something that has been big for me over the years. I was just going to tweak each post some, but I couldn’t, so this one was mostly re-written. Without further ado…

People are in strife. All over the world, there are very real circumstances in which people are being marginalized and abused. They’re being kidnapped and murdered for what they believe. They’re being told that God hates them and thinks they’re vile. They’re being rejected by the very people God has called to be witnesses of Love. They’re sitting in captivity, abandoned by entire governments. They’re hurting. They’re helpless.

Ecclesiastes 4:1 says, “Again, I observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and their victims are helpless.”

I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. Just reading that should tear our hearts wide open. The fact that words, so drenched in despair and written nearly 3,000 years ago, still bear weight today, ought to stop us dead in our tracks. There are people who are bound by oppressors, ensnared in the lie that there is no hope; to understate it, it’s heart breaking. And, the fact that some of those oppressors reside in the church and call themselves followers of Jesus should make us angry. They deserve better of us. Jesus demands better of us.

No doubt we’ve all experienced hurt. If you haven’t you will. It’s never a matter of if, just when. Most of us are somehow lifted out of it. With or without Jesus, some are able to find their way out of the mire and press on. I would argue that without Jesus complete healing isn’t possible, but we’ll talk on that later. But, there are those who have been so beat down by the world, so abused and broken, that they are helplessly held by their oppressor and the thought of freedom never breaches their consciousness. They’re broken, rejected, torn apart by life and bitter against it. The worst part is that hurt doesn’t discriminate. It wreaks havoc where it sees fit and will stay until something stronger ousts it.

That’s where we fit. We’re made for hurt. More precisely we’re made for hope, for healing. 1 Corinthians 13 is one of my favorite passages of scripture, and it isn’t because everyone uses it at weddings. It’s because it’s the remedy for hurt. If God is love, and as Christians we should know that to be true, then 1 Cor 13:13 reveals God to us. It says, “But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” God is telling us to spend excessive amounts of love on others. That’s the remedy for hurt. We’ll talk more about that later, also, but in the meantime…

There are hurting people all around us, some sitting literally in the chair next to you. They are helpless against the power of their oppressors. They are crying out, tears not always visible, but there nonetheless. We are called to show them hope, who is Christ. The best way to reveal Jesus to Hurt People is love.

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