Hurting Others


By C.W. Burke


Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Galatians 6:7-10: 



There seems to be no repercussions for hurting others emotionally and spiritually. How easy it is to hurt other people without giving thought for their feelings, and more so, for what it may do to their lives in the future. One way people hurt others is by spreading malicious gossip. Tale bearing and spreading gossip may defame and mar a persons reputation for life! Another way people hurt others is by dishonesty in relationships. Sometimes men and women will lead another person on in a relationship, pretending to love the other person, when all along they have no real intentions. And then, when circumstances make the relationship undesirable, they break the relationship, and break the other person's heart. They take no thought or consideration for what sorrow and hardships this will bring into the life of the one they've hurt. Sometimes people hurt others by saying or doing spiteful things. These things include belittling others or humiliating them in front of other people, or selectively leaving someone out of special activities. We could go on and on, but this should suffice!


This old world holds to the philosophy of "survival of the fittest", where the strong prevail at the expense of the weak. I know that in this world its "every man for himself". But in the Christian realm, where Christ is supposed to be at the reigns of the heart, and love is to have divine rule over our lives, we expect better of those who profess to know Jesus, the very expression of God's love. Sad to say, but often times there seems to be little difference between believers and the people of the world in this regard. Christians are too often guilty of hurting others, even their brothers and sisters in Christ, without any thought for what might happen to the other person as a result (Gal.5:15,  Jam.4:1).


The offending parties go about their lives as though nothing is wrong, while the ones they've hurt are often left in the "slough of despond"; perhaps even questioning God's love for their soul. They may even be ready to throw out their Biblical convictions, especially their convictions about Christian fellowship and godly Christian relationships, because it seems to them that professing believers are as hateful, and unthoughtful, and inconsiderate as the lost infidels of this world. The hurt persons may go to the other extreme and become introverted, and hide themselves from future relationships for fear of being hurt again. They lock themselves away from life's hurts, and consequently from some of life's greatest joys. They live out their lives in lonely solitude because of the thoughtless, inconsiderate actions of another believer. Has this happened? Does this happen? Sad to say it has and it does!


We are living in an "I don't care society". Even Christians will trample upon the hearts of their fellow believers without the least thought that what they are doing is wrong. I know there seems to be a license in our society for hurting others emotionally and spiritually, and this is the excepted norm and way of life. We justify these actions by saying "everyone gets hurt", thereby excusing our offenses upon those we hurt. May we as believers see that this behavior is wrong, and that it is not only an offense to those we hurt, but that it is also an offense to God.


It just seems there are no repercussions for selfishly and thoughtlessly hurting fellow believers. Or could it be that the repercussions just don't come immediately. Now it is interesting that, in the context of teaching about offenses and about Christian conduct and behavior toward fellow believers, the Bible tells us in Galatians 6:7-8: 


Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.


This ought to be taken as a serious and severe warning from God against hurting others. This universal law of sowing and reaping has no built in exemptions. Jesus said that if we "live by the sword" that we will "die by the sword". You hurt others, especially God's children, then sooner or later you will be hurt- and probably more severely. You, who by your inconsiderate and thoughtless actions or words, cause a fellow believer to stumble and fall, and destroy their life and happiness- you will not escape the judgment of God upon your sin. Yes, there are repercussions for hurting others. This ought to cause every believer to fear before God. This ought to cause us to walk cautiously, and thoughtfully, and considerately before others so as not to offend our brothers and sisters.


May God help us to be a different people, a peculiar people who abound in the love and kindness of our Lord. May we not be like this selfish "every man for himself" world that we live in. May we no more be guilty of thoughtlessly and recklessly hurting our brothers and sisters! May we examine and reconsider things that we may have done or said to a brother or sister in Christ that may have hurt them. May we do all that we can to seek their forgiveness and to make right our past wrongs. May we humbly repent of these things before God and seek His mercy and forgiveness for hurting one of His dear children. Oh, may the Lord bless this message to each one of our hearts, that we may resolve to quit hurting others from this day forward.


A Word to the Hurt


I sympathize with your pain. I wish I fully understood why the Lord allows these things to happen in our lives. Jesus certainly never condones such behavior by His people, but rather always condemns it in His Word (Matt.18:6-10). I do know and can assure you of this, that if you will seek the Lord diligently in prayer and supplication, and seek Him in His Word; and if you will bear your hurt patiently, I know that you will come through this time in your life a stronger and better Christian (Jam.1:3-4). The Bible also teaches that you should go to the person who hurt you and tell them you are offended, and give them the opportunity to repent of the wrong that they have done you (Matt.18:15). One of the hardest things to do is to forgive that person, but you must if you want to be obedient to the Lord (Matt.18:21-22). The Bible refers to these times as the fiery trials of your faith (1 Pet.4:12-13). They are "fiery", as they seem unbearable. But with time and the Lord's help, they will subside to Christian growth and renewed blessings and joy from the Lord (Rom.5:3-5).


You might consider how that Jesus can relate to your hurting (Heb.2:14-18). Jesus, the kind and compassionate Savior, came unto His own and His own received Him not (Jn.1:11). His very own people hated Him and went about to destroy Him without a cause. He knew that His very own people would arrest Him and have Him crucified as a common criminal (Matt.20:18). Knowing all this, He still loved them and wept over them (Lk.19:41). The Lord Jesus knows what it is like to be hurt- more so than we ever will. Seek the Lord during your time of pain and hurting, for He can and will comfort you with His Spirit (Heb.4:14-16).


You might consider how that Jesus loves you, and will never leave nor forsake you (Heb.13:5). These are not just idle words. Jesus is the author of all true happiness and joy and blessing. He will not leave you in your grief, but will surely bring you out into the land of joy once again. You may not see all this, and feel all this clearly just now, but you will before long.


Remember that God's people love and care for you (Gal.6:2, Jn.13:34,  Jn.15:12-17, 1 Jn.4:7). We know that what you are going through is very hard. Lean on your Christian brothers and sisters, as they will help you to get through your time of deepest hurt. Look to them for comfort and encouragement, for they can provide great strength.


Whatever you do, don't lose hope in God. Don't let this hurt turn you against what you know to be right. Don't let this hurt turn you bitter against other believers or against new relationships (Heb.12:15). Do what is right, even though it is hard, and the Lord will bless you for it in the end.


I hesitate to mention this final exhortation, but it its necessary. You should also search your life at this time to see if perhaps you are not reaping what you have sown sometime in your past. If so, seek the Lord's forgiveness and His tender mercies for the past wrongs that you have done to others. Learn and grow from this experience, and become a better Christian as a result. The chastisement of the Lord is never pleasant at the time, but He chastens those He loves (Heb.12:5-13). Receive His correction patiently and be thankful that He doesn't let us go on in our sinful ways, but corrects us as a father corrects his children.


May the Lord bless you!