Chain Reaction of Unforgiveness
Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. —Ephesians 4:32
Have you ever been the brunt of someone’s verbal barrage. It may help you to understand that it may have nothing to do about you, but some unrelated problems in that angry person’s life. You may just happen to be the nearest available “punching bag” whereby they can vent their frustrations. They are hurting in one spot, but grunting in other.
For example, a husband gets chewed out by his boss at work. When he gets home, he yells at his wife. Then his wife takes it out on the kids. One of the kids goes out and kicks the cat. The cat runs off into the woods to find a rat to bite. The moral of the story is: If the husband would have forgiven his boss, the rat would not have to worry about getting bitten by the cat.
The best cure for past hurts and offenses is to forgive the one who has hurt you. Forgiveness will stop the chain reaction of pain.
When someone treats you wrongly, look beyond their mistreatment of you and try to find the reason. Ask yourself, “Why is this person acting like this? Have they been offended themselves? Has someone hurt them to make them lash out at me?” The truth is, hurting people often hurt others. To stop hurt, engage the heart, and forgive the offender.
Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice. —1 Samuel 18:11
What do you do when you are the target of a spear thrower (spears of verbal abuse perhaps?). Here are a few lessons from David when he was the target of Saul’s spear of jealousy.
First, Don’t retaliate. Most people would pick the spear up and throw it back at the one who threw it. NOT DAVID! David let the spear lay. Don’t become spear focused or become a spear-thrower yourself. If you throw spears back at your attacker, you prove you are no better than the one who attacked you.
Second, what did David do when Saul wanted to use him as target practice and hurled a spear in his direction? Simple: He ducked! He learned how to dodge spears. He learned to stay out of the way of spear-throwers. If someone is known to be a spear-chucker, keep away from them.
Third, David put a watch at the door of his mouth (Ps. 141:3). David never voiced a single criticism towards Saul. Button your lips when attacked.
You don’t have to answer every unkind word that’s said about you or respond to every mean thing that is done to you. It is wise to just let it lay and move on.
If you do happen to get hit by a spear, there will be a tendency to turn a bright shade of “bitter.” Then you must apply the antidote for the poison of bitterness. It is called forgiveness.
[For further details on this subject, read “The Tale of Three Kings” by Gene Edwards.]