By Nylse Esahc
“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4:32
Hurt happens. It happens to all of us, often when we do not anticipate it. It happens in families, it happens in friendships, it happens with co-workers, and we even hurt ourselves. The most confusing kind of hurt, though, is the hurt that happens for seemingly no reason.
Maybe for you it’s the customer service person who’s supposed to be helping you out but keeps making everything more difficult with their attitude. This scenario rubs you the wrong way every time. You assume that kindness is a part of their job description without considering why they may be behaving rudely in the moment.
Or maybe you’re dealing with an acquaintance who is constantly inconsiderate to your kind gestures. They disregard your feelings when you express them and say that you are “sensitive” without trying to hear you out. You do not understand their lack of effort to change, especially since you’ve vulnerably expressed your concerns. As we interact with people in relationships we expect them to be as invested as we are in the relationship without considering that they might not value the relationship in the same sense that we do.
We label people unkind by our own justifications. As humans, when we judge others harshly we simultaneously cover ourselves with a lot of grace. The moment we experience negativity, we assume that the other party must be the source of that negativity without any understanding to who they really are. By looking at our situations with our eyes and not God’s heart (1 Sam 16:7) we miss the opportunity to see the value that God has designed. We miss God’s sovereignty when we dismiss people because of our hurt.
Let’s pray now for that unkind person in your life, asking God to bring healing to them and to you.
Lord, you know how my heart is hurting over ____________’s actions toward me. I’m so frustrated and weary of dealing with the hurt she is causing me. Lord, I know you know her heart. And I know that every time I judge her or get frustrated with her, I condemn myself, because I’m not perfectly kind either. Oh Lord, forgive me! Help me to see my sin too. Help me be kind to her even when she is unkind to me. Help me treat her with hospitality and consideration. Help me see her the way you see her, Lord. And Father, will you convict her heart too? Will you transform her more and more into your likeness? Will you help her see how her actions wound? I surrender this relationship to you now, Lord. Take my hurt and hold it close, and help me not need her kindness to be kind in return. In your name I pray, amen.
This devotional was taken in part from 10 Ways to Respond to the Unkind Person in Your Life. You can read that piece in full here.
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