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Monday, November 21, 2016

Burnt Bridges

I have been hurt by close friends, relatives and sometimes acquaintances. But I'm sure we all have. It comes with the package deal of life just because our imperfections clash ever so often. Being hurt by someone is not a good feeling especially getting past it to head down the road of forgiveness. Sometimes we go through this process and maybe, just maybe the relationship with the offender is restored back to its original form. But most times, this is not the case and even a lot of times, bridges are completely burnt down leading to an unsalvagable relationship.

Relationships of any kind can be difficult and it takes input from both parties to keep the ship on course. More often than not, one party is neglecting their own part of the stick; not necessarily in a selfless way but just out of negligence.  Another closely related feeling to being hurt is hurting someone, thereby causing an irreparable damage to the relationship. I have been on both sides of the equation and I seem to be more experienced in dealing with being hurt than hurting someone.
In the case of me being the offender, I carry two burdens: Forgiving myself and getting the forgiveness from the other person. Recently, I have come to learn that forgiving myself isn't the issue, accepting God's forgiveness is.

How do we deal with it when we're the ones who messed up? 

Start by crying to God. Strange? no it isn't it.

"Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment."- Psalm 51:4
King David did a terrible thing when he wrote this Psalm. Something that he meant for a one time pleasure, escalated into many folds of sin. What struck me most, however, was his first response to hurting another man's marriage. He didn't start by seeking the forgiveness from the wife of the man he had just killed after committing adultery with her. He fell to his knees to seek God's mercy. This is a remarkable response to sin, any type of sin.

Realizing that hurting someone is not just a sin against that person, it's a sin against God. We strip ourselves of pride when we learn to see our sins through this lens. Saying:
"I messed up Lord, I am deeply flawed and this is not an excuse for me to continue in sin but a realization of how much I need you help daily in living out your commands. I have hurt my neighbor, broken one of the two commandments Christ summed up for me. Lord have mercy and let me be reconciled back to you that I may learn to live a life pleasing to you" 
This is having a heart of worship even in brokeness. It is sometimes difficult to accept our wrongs and not doing so may even prolong the healing process of the person we hurt. Taking it to God first, helps take care of that. We become more broken, more contrite in order to genuinely see our faults and take steps towards making things right.

Another difficult thing for me in being the offender is when the relationship is never restored when you really want it to. So, I've apologized and genuinely repented but the damage had already been done and the other person finds it hard to reconcile things back to the way they were.
This is hard but with God, it can get easier. God is the redeemer of all things and as we continue to pray for our won restoration, we should also pray for the other person. Pray for their healing, pray for their restoration and most importantly, pray that God works all of it together in a way that His name be glorified.

I still haven't mastered this art of being the "hurter" but more than anything, I have learned to show more mercy in times when I am the one who's hurt.

Please use the comment section if you've dealt with this and kindly share your thoughts.

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