What do you do when you have done nothing, in your eyes, to hurt someone? Was it something I posted? Yes, it must have been because we never talk. It isn’t like we ever had a relationship other than when we were growing up. Even then, you spent more hours in the bathroom, or alone somewhere. I rarely played with you because you always seemed to steer clear of me. Are you just a recluse and I didn’t know it?
Could it be that without even trying, some of us just repel others? Something about our personalities seems to either attract others to us, or frighten them away. I must be one of the frightening types. I know that I am strong-willed. That can be good for some things, I know.
Yet, I sometimes wish I wasn’t so independent and would be more needy. Does that have anything to do with humility?
I am a kind person but it does not pour out of me. Some have a gentle and kind way that does not scare anyone away. My husband is that person. Everyone who meets him loves him. He is very approachable, very likeable, very interested in people he meets and family members that stop by.
I love my family too but show it in other ways. For me, if I were to share a gift I had it would be service. People call me if they need something sewn. They call if they need to know how I made my bean soup or another recipe. They ask me questions about plants and gardening. They ask me to babysit. They don’t ask if they can stop by to have a visit. When the family gathers I am the last person they would go to for conversation.
I am usually the grandma playing with the kids or showing them a bug or inviting them to play a game or blow bubbles or read a story. My husband is the one hanging out with our adult kids and interacting in conversations with them. He is who they call if they have a struggle going on with their life….of course, I am the step-mom, so it is a big difference. But my boys rarely, if ever call me. My daughter, just to vent about something going on with a client or some friend of hers that had some disagreement that became overblown.
I am not feeling sorry for myself but trying to figure out if it is something, obviously, I need to either accept or work on. I am analytical so such things as this are always thoughts in my head I try to sort out. I guess we all like to be liked. It is plain stupid if you think everyone will, and worse to think everyone should. I don’t think that.
When there is a person though….that has really never explained to you why they never call or respond or engage with you and it has been years…if ever, and they are of your own family, it makes me pause. This utter rejection is just a lot to take. I have talked to them about it. I have talked face to face, written, texted….sent invites to things. Tried to figure it all out. Maybe it is so unreasonable how they feel towards me that they don’t know themselves.
They have never lashed out at me. They have never called me names. Never did I hear anything from a third party to give me a clue. I am not sure. I do know though that in our country at least, there is tension. I have voiced my views on social media about such things as politics and religion. Maybe that alone was enough for them. It was always in support of freedom and justice and God’s love for all. We are all equal in his sight!
There is another side to every story and before any of us draw up our own conclusions to any issue we need to have all the facts before us. If we ignore facts, then it is our own fault and will draw a wrong conclusion. Would you want someone to ignore the facts behind your own story, if you wanted justice?
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:30,31)
So if we are to love….should we shun a brother or sister that is a different color? Should we snub a brother or sister that may have a better income than us? Should we ignore someone who is trying to reach out and find an answer to the burden they are carrying, when only you have the answer? Should we not talk to someone or at least share a smile or greeting because they are of a different religion?
I remember when people didn’t walk on a side of the road that a Lutheran lived on just because they were Catholic. My own grandmother stopped talking to my fiance, and they were the only ones in the room having a nice conversation, when she learned he was not Catholic. Shocking! Shocking how we will nonchalantly hurt each other. It only hurts us more.
Can we please stop hurting each other. Stop the gossip and accusations. Don’t spread a rumor. Try to go directly to a person who has hurt you. If you are scared, write a letter. Make a phone call. Sometimes there is nothing any of us can do, to reach someone. Sometimes it is not our fault. Stop the hate. Get the facts. Do the research.
If you think you are a Christian and you have hate in your heart for anyone, it is sin.
You can disagree, you can not approve of their lifestyle but always, always, God calls us to love! God calls us to pray for our enemies.
Who do you need to pray for today? If it is hard to go to someone who has hurt you or you find intolerable, pray for them. God will change your heart towards them. Then, forgive them. Once you can forgive someone it is easier to go to them and tell them you are sorry.
To be sorry is an act of humility. We need to go to the one who hurt us “humbly”. That is hard!
WHAT? Why do I have to say I am sorry? They hurt me. Because God tells us to. Jesus obeyed His Father and went to the cross for us. His first words were: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” He forgave us first….so it was easier for us to go to Him for forgiveness. He humbled himself….even to death on a cross.
Out of obedience, we are to go to our brother or sister. (Matthew 18:15) Hhmmm…..does that just mean other believers?
Would it make things worse, to go to a non-believer and say we are sorry?
I am confused about this…..yet, I have gone to non-believers with no result.
Only God can change a heart. Pray God changes hearts. Not only the heart of the one who hurt you, but more importantly, your heart towards them. This is true humility.