Hurting those you should love

Bishop Charles Ighele

I REMEMBER a Christian woman who was extremely harsh to her daughter in law and was a source of constant pain to her young son’s wife. Though she was a constant churchgoer, she was not a kind person.

I discovered that when this woman was young, her in-laws were also very wicked to her. One would expect that after facing such horrors she would not do the same to her daughter in-law. But she did the opposite.

Why? You may ask. The answer is this: many people whose feelings have been terribly hurt in the past end up hurting others if their painful past remains unhealed. A hurting person will only be able to dish out hurts. I read a story some years ago of a young boy and his beloved dog. The love between the boy and the dog was so great that whenever the boy was to come from school, the dog will go down the road and wait for him. One day as usual the dog was on its way down the road to wait for its young human friend when from nowhere a car came and knocked it down. The boy ran towards his dog only to discover the dog was injured and bleeding.

As he tried to pick up the dog to comfort, love and take it away for treatment, the dog will growl and try to bite him. Each time he wanted to carry the dog, it will try to bite him. He watched helplessly as his beloved dog bled to death. Just like the hurting dog, some of us have hurts we are carrying and until we deal with those hurts, we might not be able to show kindness.

Whenever we try to reach out to others, it will be to control, bite and hurt them.

If you have old hurts that have not been dealt with, like the little dog you will reach out to bite instead of giving out love. Many people that are very harsh have most likely gone through a hurting incidence in the past or a harsh upbringing. Some have never received kindness so they do not know how to give it out. Some have been maltreated by people they lived with so their natural reaction is to bite and lash out at people who live with them including their domestic staff. Some have been molested and abused so they lash out at their spouses and those who want to show them love.

If you are carrying hurts in your heart the first thing you should do is to treat yourself of the pains by forgiving and let go of the painful past. Forgive those who have hurt you in the past. It may not be easy but it is easier than carrying un-forgiveness. Ask the Spirit of God to help you forgive and make light of that painful past. Whenever bitter thoughts want to come up concerning that person, deliberately put them away and remind yourself that that person has been forgiven and loved. Whatever has happened to you though evil can be turned for good and be used as a testimony.

Remember Joseph in the Bible who forgave his brothers despite the fact that they sold him into slavery. Look at others the way God sees them. Look at that maid, co-worker, in-law, spouse, friend, children, parent etc with the eye of God. Do you easily bark at people? The problem may be less with the people and more with you. Forgive those who hurt you. Forgive yourself, and forgive in advance those who may not be able to meet up with your standard. I love you.

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