Three people this week shared with me their struggles. These are good people who love God in a hard-hitting world. They were either being treated poorly or acting poorly… or both. I left each of them recognizing a piece of myself at some stage and age. Although their stories differ, their feelings are familiar. Perhaps you can relate to one of these three people.
Perhaps “this person” is capable of being in us all.
TO THE PERSON who has ever sparked hate which turns into a destructive fire… you gather your kindling from an unattended aching in your heart. Yet, you desire compassion and love just as much as the person you are set upon destroying.
Ponder this: Even if every unkindness about another you share is true, what value have you added to the world by making it more of a one-note society where hate begets hate? You are free to hate, but isn’t there a better use of your freedom? Challenge yourself to do something different… bolder… gutsier. Add love where you are tempted to increase negativity.
Ask God for forgiveness for what you have not fully surrendered to Him. Receive His grace and mercy. And then lean into the day as one who is actively healing, allowing God’s love to settle in and through your life.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
TO THE PERSON who has ever spread an unkindness said to them by another – a toxic drop that discolors perception and clouds truth. When you freely listen to or share the faults of another, you willingly make life more of a strain for someone who is already struggling… already hurting.
Life is hard enough without making it harder. Don’t allow your contribution to be one of meanness.
Let the clamor of insults STOP with you – decide not to be a carrier of ugliness. There is no lasting joy in speaking ill of another. Perhaps a shallow camaraderie or temporary feeling of satisfaction is gained when exchanging gossips, but the cost is higher than the lowness of the action.
Choose not to diminish the very thing we need most in this world: the love of Jesus lived through His children.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).
TO THE PERSON who has ever felt rejected and excluded, misunderstood and lonely - please remember your Savior understands your hurt and sadness.
“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem” (Isaiah 53:3).
God knows. He knows everything. He knows how long you’ve felt this way. He knows what pain you have spoken aloud and spoken only to yourself. And He also knows these feelings will one day wash into memory because He will lead you through this storm. Child of God, do not doubt your Father’s promises.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you…. I am the LORD your God” (Isaiah 43:2-3).
Yes, God leads His children through. What you can comprehend is a blurred speck compared to the vast picture God is unfolding in your life for His purposes. STAY THE COURSE OF FAITH. Regardless if you are called friend or foe by others, your life is a living testimony to GOD’s power – not yours alone – and certainly not theirs.
“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).
Look to the Word for protection and comfort more than the world. Practice maintaining an eternal perspective within this temporary heartache. Trust God above your opinions and the opinions of others. In doing so, you will be washed anew with a fresh perspective of hope. You will nurture deeper roots of faith. You will readily recognize the need for forgiveness and express grace. And you will find yourself living free in a purposed life daily surrendered to Love Himself.
May your first answer to those who hurt you be in the form of a prayer. Ask God to begin healing the hearts of those who hurt so much that they feel compelled to hurt others. And ask God to give you His perspective and companionship as you move through this time with the Lord as your guide.
Kindness and callousness pulse through us all. May we remember the bond of peace is more fruitful than the brokenness of bitterness.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2-3).
Choose kindness. We are all going through more than what is known and shown. Every soul needs grace and love – lots of both. May we think upon the person we desire to be this week and practice being through with spreading hurt.
SGLY, dear reader.
(Smile, God Loves You.)
Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian Author and opinion columnist. Submit feedback and connect for more soul lifts on Facebook: Tiffany Kaye Chartier, Instagram:@tiffanysgly, and Twitter: @tiffanychartier.