There are two kinds of hurt in this life: the hurt we do to others and the hurt that others do to us. Both are equally important but Christians seem to pay more attention to the first than to the second. We brush off the hurt from others by saying things like, "Oh, it's OK" or "S/He didn't mean it" or "I understand now why s/he did it." With excuses such as these we tamp down the anger, we bury the harm that was done, and cause more damage to ourselves.
On top of that we are disobeying God. Jesus didn't say to excuse others, he said to forgive them. He didn't say to bury the hurt, he said expose it to the light. Trying to ignore the harm done is not part of being meek or humble. It does not follow the Christian imperative to forgive, which means to deal with it.
I bring this up because in the many years I have prayed with people, lack of forgiveness is often at the root of the problem. It is not the only root, but it certainly is a strong one. In the next few weeks we will look at forgiveness in the Scriptures, what they mean for our lives, and how we might set ourselves and others free from the captivity of our unforgiveness.
For Reflection: Which person in my life irritates me the most (at home, at work, at school)? What are my pet peeves, and why? When do I find myself unable to do or say the good thing I want to do (see Romans 7:15).
Let us pray. Jesus, Lord of Forgiveness, I think that I have done a good job of forgiving those who have hurt me. However, if there is someone or something I still need to work on, please show it to me today.
I started this website and blog on May 1, 2012. I am a Catholic who has been in ministry for many years. I first developed what I would call a close relationship with Jesus in the early 1970s. Ever since then I have been praying with people for healing and other needs. It is because I have seen so many of these prayers answered that I am so bold as to offer to pray for you individually through this website and phone line.