“Therefore, rejecting all falsehood [whether lying, defrauding, telling half-truths, spreading rumors, any such as these], speak truth each one with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one another [and we are all parts of the body of Christ]. Be angry[at sin—at immorality, at injustice, at ungodly behavior], yet do not sin; do not let your anger [cause you shame, nor allow it to] last until the sun goes down. And do not give the devil an opportunity [to lead you into sin by holding a grudge, or nurturing anger, or harboring resentment, or cultivating bitterness].” Ephesians 4:25-27
One morning my twin toddlers Xander and Xavier were wrestling on my bedroom floor. They were rolling around on the ground laughing as they proceeded grabbing at one another. Suddenly Xander screamed out, he had gotten hurt. I rush over to pick him up and his brother who had accidentally hurt him said “sorry” but the crying continued. As I held Xander in my arms I told him to just keep crying, and let all the pain out. Soon, Xander was fine, forgetting what had happened. They were once again back chasing one another around the room playing, and talking gibberish to one another.
Obviously, Xavier did not mean to hurt his brother, but in all the excitement pain had occurred. Xander had the right to cry for the moments time, but he soon had forgotten the fact that he was hurt and moved on quickly. He was a victim to his brother’s roughness with him, but to move on he had to go from a mindset of victim, to a mindset of forgiveness. Soon they were playing again chasing each other around the room as if nothing had happened.
Children are so quick to forgive, but what about adults? Are we as quick to overlook a hurt, or offense? As God’s children from time to time we will unintentionally hurt one another, but are we quick to forgive and even confront situations in a timely manner when something occurs?
Matthew 18:15-17 says, “If your brother or sister in God’s family does something wrong, go and tell them what they did wrong. Do this when you are alone with them. If they listen to you, then you have helped them to be your brother or sister again. But if they refuse to listen, go to them again and take one or two people with you. Then there will be two or three people who will be able to tell all that happened. If they refuse to listen to them, tell the church. And if they refuse to listen to the church, treat them as you would treat someone who does not know God or who is a tax collector.”
I personally don’t believe it is wrong to feel hurt from time to time. Our feelings as human beings are valid. What is wrong is staying there, and not dealing with the issue any further. God knows that we are going to make mistakes, misstep at times, and hurt one another. We live in a fallen world, and no one is perfect, but when we don’t work through, or deal with the situation we are not helping our brother, or sister in Christ. The scripture above states that we should confront the person and make things right.
Confrontation is something that many of us don’t like to do. This is often an uncomfortable, and not very pleasant thing to do for either persons involved, but it is necessary to have peace and wholeness. I have seen ministries, and churches not confront issues in an effective way and it hurt them in the end. Confrontation is what leads to true reconciliation. We can say sorry, and not discuss what happened which gives the appearance of reconciliation, but that often leaves a festering wound under what appears be a healed scab. This type of false reconciliation without confronting the issues never truly leads to freedom and wholeness. You may have peace with the person for a certain amount of time, but that lingering un-dealt with issue will still be there.
God desires true reconciliation, and although that can look different depending on the situation, it’s important to be eager to confront and reconcile. I believe it is important to not let things go for too long, and not hold the other person in hostage. Allow God to show you the steps to take so you can find healing, and reconciliation with the person who has hurt you.
Matthew 5:22-26 “But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.“So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. “When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison. And if that happens, you surely won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny.”
Be quick to forgive and overlook an offense. Don’t let it fester inside of you, confront and deal with the situation. Chances are your brother, or sister who hurt you were not meaning to do so in the first place. There are many misunderstandings and assumptions that can take root in a negative way. Deal with them quickly not holding yourself, or others in any type of bondage.