When Others Hurt or Disappoint Us
By Jennifer Slattery
“…Being confident of this, that He who became a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
My friend’s comments and attitude stunned me and left me clamoring for a reply. An evening excursion I’d anticipated with joy, that I’d set aside time for, paid money for, was quickly turning to regret.
The words tumbling out of her mouth were ugly and unjustified.
The next day, still nursing the sting from the night before, I was rehashing it all through prayer to God. Every statement she’d made, why it was wrong and unfair, and what each revealed regarding the state of her heart.
About two minutes into my rant, God’s voice swept through my mind: “Be the friend to her you want her to be to you.”
God was calling me to show grace. To recognize the countless times I’d responded to others in a similar manner. If I were to list each instance when I’d done or said something hurtful to someone I love, I’d be buried in paper and ink.
In other words, I never have and never will love others perfectly.
Neither would my friend. Most likely, her behavior stemmed from something internal. She was probably hurting or experiencing stress or uncertainty in some area. Or perhaps she’d merely slipped into a sinful state.
We’ve all done that.
But God’s love and gentle presence remains. Knowing we still have a great deal of growth ahead, He lovingly convicts then picks us up and inspires us to try again.
Today’s verse reminds us that we’re all teetering someplace between who we once were and who we’ll become. This truth brings great comfort when we’re the ones acting sinful, but this hope-filled promise involves those who hurt us as well. With every interaction, especially the most painful and disappointing, may we all remember that each one of us are in a state of becoming. God will complete the work in us, and perhaps most importantly, He carries the bulk of the weight.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, is the author of eight contemporary novels, and helped write Wholly Loved’s Bible study based on the life of Sarai (Gen. 12-23) titled Becoming His Princess, available for free (in ebook form) from Wholly Loved Ministries. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com.
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Originally published Friday, 12 March 2021.