I’m sure you all have heard the saying: Hurt people hurt people.
I want to show you how easy it is to find yourself caught in the midst of this and not even know it.
This week I snapped at a friend. Yes- I know- I still feel ashamed of myself. When she confronted me via text, the Holy Spirit convicted me, and I had to apologize. I told her I was sorry, that I shouldn’t have reacted so quickly, and explained why I reacted that way, even though it didn’t justify my behavior. I wasn’t trying to justify it, just show her why my behavior was out of character.
While reflecting on the whole situation later (I still couldn’t believe I behaved that way), I realized that earlier that day, someone had snapped at me!
The truth is that regardless of how my day was going, and whether someone had snapped at me earlier or not, I should not have snapped at my friend. As a Christian, after being snapped at my first reaction should have been to recognize that people behave the way they do based on THEIR heart condition. It’s not a reflection of me. Then I should have said, “the buck stops here.” I should not have carried on the cycle to someone else. But I allowed the person’s words to affect my heart and then hurt someone else.
How often do we find ourselves presented with a situation where we can either choose to love or choose to continue (or even become the start of) the “hurt people hurt people” cycle?
I for one, am challenging myself to be more mindful of the situations in which I find myself and to choose to love.
I’ll leave you with a few verses:
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21
The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. James 3:6
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:1-7