If I were to ask you for an example of a person who has hurt you in the past would you be able to give me one?
How about if I were to ask for an example of when you hurt someone?
And what about when you’ve hurt yourself?
We are all likely to be able to give examples for both categories, why, because it’s what we do. A lot of the time we don’t mean to but we hurt each other and we hurt ourselves. This can then result in broken or damaged relationships.
So how do we respond? Our automatic response is often to retaliate, whether that be in our words or our actions, but what does that achieve? It tends to achieve more hurt, more brokenness, more damage.
Martin Luther King Junior lived in the United States of America at a time when there was segregation between the races, and a lot of hatred was being shown through actions and words. It would have been so easy for Martin Luther King and those in his congregation to respond in retaliation and hatred but knowing the damage it did to them, he encouraged them to not retaliate. This is one of my favourite quotes from Martin Luther King:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”
Christianity is not a load of rules, Christianity is a relationship with God. Why are we able to have a relationship with God? Because God has forgiven us, all of the things that we have done to separate us from God and bring darkness into our relationship, were wiped away when Jesus died in our place, and rose again.
God brings light into our lives through forgiveness, and we are called to do the same.
It’s not easy, it doesn’t mean that we forget, but it does mean that we can move forward.
Challenge: is there something that you or someone else has done that you are holding on to? Write it on a piece of paper, and give it over to God.
Prayer: father God, thank you that you want to be in relationship with us. Thank you that you choose to forgive us, no matter what we do. Fill us with your spirit to help us forgive each other and ourselves when we get hurt. Amen