“Hurting people hurt people.”
It’s amazing how much insight is in that short statement. I first heard this expression many years ago and it made — and still makes — a significant impact.
First, I found myself looking at individuals who had hurt me or those I love with more compassion. I realized that many of them hurt deeply. Out of that hurt, they in turn hurt others. It does not excuse what they do, but it does help to explain their actions.
As believers, we are commanded by Jesus to forgive, but that doesn’t make it easy. Somehow, by reminding myself that hurting people hurt people, the process of forgiveness became easier.
What about you? Have you been hurt recently? Is it possible that the one hurting you is themselves hurting?
Consider this about them and see if it does not impact your feelings and your ability to forgive and move on.
I also had a second insight from the phrase. Could this be the reason why I, on an all-too-regular basis, hurt others around me through sarcasm, anger, jealousy or selfishness?
When I turn the light on myself and probe, what unresolved hurts do I find that still seep through the walls I have erected around them and influence the way I deal with others? When I carefully and prayerfully look, most often I find an old unresolved hurt.
Then I must decide: will I expend the energy to reopen the wound, to revisit the hurt, to confront the pain and let the healing power of God release me from the power of that hurt? Am I willing to forgive those who have caused the wounds that still linger in my heart?
That is not an easy task. However, when I look into the faces of those I love who I hurt, it strengthens my resolve to deal with the issues that cause this hurting person to hurt others.
What about you? Have you caused unnecessary tears or pain in someone? Does it happen more often than you would like? If hurting people hurt people, are you willing to turn the light on yourself and find that buried wound and open it once again?
The healing and wholeness you will receive not only affects you but will also impact those around you. Hurting people hurt people, but they don’t have to. Jesus can bring freedom, wholeness and inner health.
If you are not sure how, come and join one of the local expressions of the Body of Christ for worship this weekend. Any of the Bible-teaching congregations in our area would love to help you begin your journey to wholeness.
The Rev. Rick Glowacki is lead pastor at Columbus First Assembly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.