Recently, I was deeply hurt by someone close to me: My immediate reaction was anger. Grief. Disappointment. Wounded pride. I had expected so much more in the relationship! Because I hate pain, I wanted to:
Run from it.
Criticize the person inflicting the pain.
Pout – Have a pity party!
In other words, do anything to get rid of the pain.
Such reactions are not condoned in Scriptures. Rather, we are to respond with:
Compassion (Matthew 9:13, 36; Mark 1:41; Luke 6:36; Ephesians 4:32; 1 Peter 3:8)
Kindness (Proverbs 14:21; Matthew 5:42; Luke 6:34, 35; 1 Corinthians 13:4; 2 Peter 1:7)
Humility (Numbers 12:3; Proverbs 16:19; 29:23; Isaiah 57:15; 66:2; Matthew 5:3)
Gentleness (James 3:13; Titus 3:2; 1 Thessalonians 2:7; 1 Timothy 6:11; Ephesians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 10:1)
Patience. (2 Timothy 3:10; 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 1:11)
And we are to:
Bear (literally, endure) the pain inflicted upon us.
Forgive the person – even when they keep sticking it to us: “If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,‘ forgive him.” (Luke 17:4)
Here’s how the Apostle Paul put it, “Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:12, 13)
For example, Jesus, in his dying breath uttered, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:24). And Stephen, as they were crushing in his skull with rocks whispered, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” (Acts 7:60b)
We all know brittle, sour prune-types that reek with anger and bitterness. And that’s where we are headed unless we embrace the spirit of Jesus and Stephen. So let’s make a decision today: That by His grace we will allow no one to rain on our parade. And we will accomplish this unprecedented feat by choosing to be the very embodiment of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance and forgiveness.