Sometimes people hurt us. It may be people close to us or acquaintances. No matter who it comes from, if the attack is a personal one, it hurts just the same. As humans, we often run through a range of emotions when this happens: Anger, discontent, hurt and frustration. These are all normal, human reactions especially if the offender's actions are chronic.
However, as Christians we are called to a higher behavior. Jesus calls on us repeatedly to "forgive" each other.In Matthew18:21 He tells us we should forgive not 7 times, but seventy times seven. In the Lord's Prayer it even states, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." These are meaningful words-we are asking God to forgive us the way we forgive others. So if we expect God to be merciful to us, we must be merciful to others.
But, not only are we called to forgive those who hurt us, but we are called to pray for them.Praying for those who hurt us seems like a daunting task. Pray for the person who called you those degrading names? Pray for that person who bullies you? Yes! Hurtful people probably need many prayers.
However, this really is as much for us as it is for them. Prayer pulls us closer to God and brings us in His presence. Often times, an offense may be so hurtful that we may be "hanging on by a thread" before giving into the temptations of anger, depression, anxiety, and loneliness. But, I have noticed the times I've been at that point that prayer is the one thing that keeps the "thread" intact. If we pray enough, our hearts will soften, and we let go of the desire for revenge. Instead of a racing mind on "what to say the next time I see them," our hearts and minds will be at peace. Sometimes it may take a few "Hail Marys", other times it could take much more. But once we have prayed, we can rest peacefully knowing we did right by God and our offender. The peacefulness in our hearts is a much better feeling than the snapping of the "thread" we've been hanging on to.