The #1 Reason We Should Love Those Who Hurt Us

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

I was talking to a friend recently who was expressing frustration toward someone who had hurt them deeply. The hurt had seeped even further down and turned to bitterness, as hurt so often does. The loved-one who caused the hurt now seemed more like an enemy to my friend. And if I'm being completely real, I don't blame my friend for being angry, hurt, or frustrated. I don't even blame her for seeing them as an enemy. But as I lay in bed days later, I started thinking about her situation again. I started thinking about how often love ends up feeling like a burden. In those moments, and it feels unreasonable that we should be called to love those who hurt us.

I genuinely hurt for my friend. I want to be able to fix it for them, and make the deep-rooted pain go away. But I realized something as I continued to think about her situation: she needs to remember the truth about love.

How do you love someone who has hurt you? And why is it important? #love #Christianity #faith

The Truth About Love

As much as we would like to think otherwise, when people hurt us, we are still commanded to love them. We must realize that whether they are close friends, family, co-workers, or acquaintances, Jesus calls His people to live in a counter-cultural way. He calls us to love those who persecute us and pray for those who have wounded us.

Love is not supposed to be a burden. It's easy to understand why it feels that way sometimes. Love can be the hardest thing to practice when someone ignores us, slanders us, or deceives us. But friends, if you claim the name of Christ, you are called to a higher way of living. You are called to a life that proclaims the name of Jesus instead of proclaiming your bitterness.

Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you. #faith #Christianity

Love Is A Mission Field

I know this can be so incredibly hard, but in my opinion, this is the most important reason to love those who have hurt us. Love really is a mission field. That friend who spread rumors about you? Love them. That co-worker that said nasty things to you? Love them. That parent who treated you like you were unworthy of their love? Love them. That spouse who ignores you, makes you feel alone, and doesn't help you around the house? Love them.
You have a divine opportunity to show the love of Jesus to people who totally don't get it. You have the privilege of loving them in a way that they don't expect or deserve to be loved.

And why is it a privilege? Because Jesus already gave you and me that same love. He swooped in and loved us abundantly before we knew we needed it, and before we wanted it. He gave himself up in complete sacrifice while we were still scorning him. Trust me: Jesus can relate to your hurt. Jesus has been hurt just as badly by you (and me), as we've ever been hurt in our entire life. And guess what! He loved us anyway, as a sign of his goodness and salvation.

And aren't we called to live like Christ? Aren't we called to love our enemies as Jesus loved us? And isn't loving people who have hurt us one of the most grand testimonies we could ever display for the saving grace of Jesus?

Friend, if you have been hurt and your hurt has turned to bitterness, you are not alone. But you cannot hold on to that bitterness. Not only will it eat you alive, but it will also prevent you from doing exactly what you've been called to do: sharing Jesus with others. So whether you've been hurt by a spouse, a friend, a family member, or someone else entirely, stop thinking of yourself as a victim and start thinking of yourself as a missionary. That's what you are, and the greatest example of that mission is a love that runs deeper than your hurt.

*NOTE: This is not in any way a call to ignore sin. You can (and should) address destructive habits in relationships (i.e. porn or infidelity in marriage, gossip and slander in friendships and family, etc.). But it is entirely possible to release grudges and love people deeply in action and in word while still addressing those sins. Your attitude and actions towards them can shower the love of Christ without ignoring deeper problems.
And also, please know that if you are being abused, you are not called to stay in that situation. Get help. Don't continue being abused for the sake of "love". In those cases, love means getting yourself safe, and hopefully getting some help for the other person.

When someone hurts us, we have the opportunity to love them in order to show the love of Christ to them. Love is a mission field. | #love #faith #Christianity

No comments