Why does it hurt more when a Christian hurts you?

This is in response to a post my wife put on her blog.

This is something my wife and I have experienced quite a bit over the past year. Some of my recent blogs have been part of this whole experience. Here’s my 2 cents on why I think it’s more painful when a Christian hurts you.

When you call yourself a Christian, you are saying that you identify with Christ and His character. You are saying that you agree with what Jesus says are the 2 most important things. Namely: 1. Love the Lord your God with all you heart, soul, mind. 2. Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matt 22: 37, 39).
Now, there is no expectation that any of us is always going to hit that target 100% of the time. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3:23. That isn’t the point. The point is more what you do about it when you do miss. What doesn’t seem to happen often enough is to admit that you acted poorly, selfishly, whatever. I recently had to go do that and what strikes me as funny (sad) is that I had to set up a meeting, get a mediator and have a special gathering in order to apologize to someone. That backs up my feeling that our culture has decided that you can offend someone and then just ignore each other for a while, cool off and forget it ever happened. Because then you never have to look at your own heart or motives. One thing I learned throughout the past six weeks is that even though I may believe the methods and motives of the people who hurt me is at fault, I still play a major part in the success or failure of any relationship.
We also have to take a look at what Love is. Love isn’t always agreeing. Love isn’t just saying nice words. Love is putting the other person first. One aspect of Love is looking out for the other person’s eternal future. Do you care enough about a person to put them first? You may think you are right about something but is it worth the other person’s honor? Is it worth the anger or pain that either or both of you may carry around interfering with your fellowship with God? That doesn’t go away. God does not have a statute of limitations on wronging someone. Matt 5:23-24 says (in my words), “if you know you have an issue with someone, before you come to Me, go fix it.” And, Matt 6:14-15 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
On the other hand, Love also corrects. If someone you know is doing something you know to be sinful and damaging to them, you must tell them. Even though you might be afraid of what the person will think. Jesus rebuked Peter in Mark 8 because Peter’s view was not eternal. He didn’t want to see Jesus killed. But Jesus knew what needed to be done to secure our Redemption. It was important to correct Peter’s thinking and get him in line with the Eternal plan of God.
Proverbs has quite a bit to say about this. Prov. 9:8, 13:1, 24:25. I like Proverbs 27:5 the best, “Open rebuke is better than secret Love.” This, by the way, is an art. I think of myself as a truth-teller. Not in a bragging way, just that the truth is the truth and when I see/hear someone blatantly ignoring or twisting the truth, I am compelled to speak up. I am woefully short on the art part. I come on pretty strong most times. That’s bad. Motive good – Method bad.

So, on and on I go. Sorry. What it comes down to is this: life is hard. The world is cold and getting further from God every day. As Christians, our time with other Christians is supposed to be an escape, of sorts, from the world. When that safety is taken away it can be worse because we were expecting to be spiritually and emotionally hugged and reassured. Our defenses are down. Instead we get a sucker-punch. And as I said before, the response too often is to go to your separate corners and wait for each other to cool off. And the outward anger may dissipate, but I submit that the inner pain may only increase over time as distrust and bitterness take root.

Ok. I think that’s enough for now.

NET: Love the Lord your God with all you heart, soul and mind. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Thanks for visiting.

Let me know what you think.

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  1. Kelli Says:

    That is really awesome Mark. Thank you so much for writing this. I'm going to share this on my blog if you don't mind. :0) Love you.

  2. Mark Says:

    please share at will.