Tips to Thrive

Hurt people hurt people.


Seeing someone mistreat your spouse is one of the hardest things you might face in your life in ministry. False accusations, harsh comments, and undue criticism are hard enough to personally withstand, but the feelings of anger and resentment seem to magnify when you have to watch your spouse take the heat—especially when they didn’t do anything to deserve it!

In times like this, we’re reminded of Jesus’ prayer in Luke 23:34: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (NIV). This can be a hard prayer to pray when you’re feeling angry, upset, and hurt. But we can make a choice to begin praying this prayer, and it’s amazing how our feelings will begin to change.

It’s been said that “hurt people hurt people.” When we understand that those who are treating us or our spouse harshly or unfairly are just hurting people themselves, our compassion level increases, and we are able to pray for forgiveness for them. Think of Jesus—He definitely didn’t deserve the comments, the beatings, the accusations, the crucifixion. But He looked on the very people who were putting Him to death and assumed the very best possible of them: “They do not know what they are doing.”

Really? They didn’t know they were spitting, whipping, and crucifying Jesus? They did. But Jesus recognized that they were deceived into believing that what they were doing was right. Jesus assumed the very best of others’ motives and intentions, and when we do the same, we will find our hearts filled with the same incomprehensible compassion. Have a survival tip that someone shared with you once upon a time, or that you have learned along the way? Send it in to share here at: [email protected]