How to Head Off Unforgiveness

How to Head Off Unforgiveness

This past week it was reveled to me that the Bible gives us tools to help with healing after being hurt. In Ephesians 4:25-27, the Bible states:

Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to [your] neighbor, for we are all members of one body. In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

To me, this verse instructs us to humbly and lovingly ask for an explanation for any action that we perceive to be hurtful. I think that one of the most common mistakes we can make in a hurtful situation is to leap to the conclusion that the person who hurt us did so intentionally. If so, then why bother to ask for an explanation, right? Well, the truth is that most people feel that they’re doing the right thing, and don’t really mean to hurt anybody. But if we don’t confirm that, the hurt just festers and burns in our brains. Most times, if you politely ask for an explanation, you’ll find out that the other person was not trying to hurt you. You might discover that the person was actually trying to help you!

Many of us have surrounded ourselves with a Plexiglas box that we think protects us from being hurt. We don’t want others to see the “true” persons in us because they might find a weakness and break our hearts or hurt us.  But I once heard someone say that to really love and be loved we must risk getting a broken heart.  In the end it’s worth it because if we experience love, we’ll get a glimpse of God’s perfect love! We must remember that as long as we imperfect humans are involved in relationships, we’ll make mistakes and people will sometimes get hurt. It’s inevitable and very unfortunate, but when it happens we can at least act quickly to reduce the pain and heal rapidly (kind of like Wolverine from X-Men, but without all the bullet wounds and what-not).

I’ve always heard this particular scripture from Ephesians preached to married couples, but I think it’s for the benefit of ALL people.  So . . . when you are hurt by someone else’s words or actions, humbly (and quickly) seek an explanation.  Do so with a contrite, honest heart.  Don’t go on the defensive, and be prepared to let the other person do a little venting. It’s far better to let them blow off steam about you to you, than to everyone else in your office or family!  I also HIGHLY recommend that you only speak to the person when you (and hopefully they) are calm.  Finally, even though you may be looking for an explanation, if you go with your heart in your hands and say “I’m sorry” first, that one statement can typically smooth things over so that you can get to the core of the hurtful matter.  In the end, if you’re wrongly accused and the other person doesn’t soften, you can at least walk away knowing that your Lord is smiling because you did the right thing!




4 Responses to “How to Head Off Unforgiveness”

  1. 1 Amanda Boucaud February 21, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is really informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. A lot of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  2. 3 Tim Schnacke February 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    It’s like Beano! Take it before you eat, and you head off unfortunate incidents later on!

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