August 23, 2004

Handling the Hurts of Life
By D. B. Martin

How do you handle the hurts of life? It is especially difficult when most of these hurts are from people closest to you, people you loved and trusted -and most of them are. Why is that? Because we spend most of our time with them, making more opportunities for conflicts. Plus, we both have unrealistic expectations of each other.

Jesus once said, “It is impossible that no offenses should come: …” (Luke 17:1 NKJ). Make no mistake here. We will have them. How we handle these hurts will determine our happiness and our success or failure in the Christian life.

“Amos and Andy” was a popular radio program in the forties and fifties. These two men ran a small country store. In one program a big man named Kingfish would slap Andy across the chest every time they met. It was his manner of greeting, but he underestimated his strength and it became very irritating to Andy.

In sharing his plan with Amos, Andy said, “Now I’m fixed for Kingfish. I put a stick of dynamite in my vest pocket. Next time he slaps my chest, he’s gonna get his hand blown off.”

We smile at such foolishness, knowing that Andy will hurt himself far more than he will hurt the big man; however, we do the same thing when we harbor anger or resentment toward someone who has hurt us.

So, what do you do? Some retaliate by insulting or assaulting the offender to “get even.” Others practice repression, bottling up their anger and giving the offender the “silent treatment.”

Neither works well. Retaliation just brings more hurt in return. On the other hand, repression may produce insomnia, depression, health problems or an ultimate explosion of anger.

Jesus had a better answer. He said, “And when you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in Heaven, may also forgive you your trespasses” (Mark 11:25 NKJ).

“Forgive him?” you may be saying, “Without an apology? No way!" Jesus didn’t mention an apology. Forgive without waiting for an apology. Did Jesus practice that? Yes, He did. The first recorded words He spoke from the cross were, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). You may be saying, “But I can’t do that.” Right, you can’t forgive like that in your own strength, but you can let Jesus do it in you.

When Jesus commands you to do something, you can depend on Him to also help you do it. Yes, it’s hard, but consider the consequences of not forgiving in this Ann Landers column:

DEAR ANN LANDERS:

You must be made of stone. You tell every wronged husband or wife, daughter or son, sweetheart, friend, or neighbor to forgive and forget. Did it ever occur to you that some people just can’t? They are too deeply hurt; too badly damaged. Please pull your head out of the sand or the clouds, or wherever it is, and use it to think with. It’s preposterous to expect mere mortals to behave like saints.

--Made the Scene…

DEAR SCENE:

For those of you who don’t like my advice to forgive and forget, here’s an alternative:

Don’t forgive and forget. Keep alive every agonizing torturous detail of the past. Talk about it. Cry a lot and feel sorry for yourself. Lose weight and look haggard. Friends will worry about you. Build an ulcer. Get a migraine. Break a leg, … any thing to create pain and serve as a reminder of what that dirty louse did to you.

If you follow this advice, you are sure to end up miserable, sick, bitter and alone.

-- Ann Landers -(Used by permission, Field Enterprises)

Don’t let the hurts of life rob you of joy and peace. Ask Jesus to forgive you for your anger and bitterness. Let Him heal your hurts, help you forgive others and restore your soul. He will do it! Amen.

Note From Editor: I am a retired Southern Baptist Pastor living in Virginia Beach, VA. This website and email bulletin is simply my way to continue my ministry in retirement. This goes out to more than 500 addresses. I hope it is a blessing to you. If you have suggestions or know of someone else who would like to receive these bulletins, please email us. They are free. Also, if you would like your name removed from our email list, simply click "reply" and type "unsubscribe" in the subject line. Your name will be removed.

Meanwhile, God bless you, D. B. Martin.

To view previous Maranathalert Bulletins, Click on: Maranathalert Archives. To visit our website home page click: www.maranathalert.org for many prophecy articles and other subjects posted there. For example, last Easter season we posted messages on "The Seven Last Words from the Cross."