I have always been the type of person that wants desperately to make other people proud of me. It actually can be a fault because, too often, my worth is connected to their opinion of me and whatever I am doing. More times than I would like to admit, I have questioned myself because of the callous opinions of others and kept an ongoing record of the wrongs they have inflicted upon me.
As I get older, I realize that my inability to forgive others when they wrong me has exacted scars much worse than anything a particular person could do. It has held me prisoner. It has driven me to be a person that can only feel successful when others are praising me or when the very ones that have wronged me get their “just reward.”
My moment of transparency- The last few months have been a roller coaster ride for me. There have been moments that held so much potential yet did not deliver. There have been promises spoken to me yet were broken. In situations where my concerns should have been taken more seriously, I, instead, felt attacked. I felt disrespected. I felt cheated. I felt unheard.
I have struggled to stay quiet, to be respectful, and to continue to love in the face of conflict.
Yet, here I am, watching the very fortress built by others begin to crumble. It is extremely difficult not to claim retribution. To point to those that made me question myself and say “See I told you. It was you, not me. You were wrong.”
And what I am writing is not some subtle way to drive the dagger deeper but I know these people are hurting. I, of all people, know that hurt people hurt others. Stress will cause emotional responses. Truth is often ignored and blame is appointed to the one closest. The issues are not always what you can see.
It brings me to my conclusion.
We all know the verses in 1 Corinthians that speaks of love, but I want to focus on a particular verse:
“It [love] does not dishonor others,
it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.”
1 Corinthians 13:5
I am saying this for me as much as I am for any of you.
When people hurt you, love anyway.
When people disappoint you, love anyway.
When you feel neglected and disrespected, love anyway.
When you never get that apology, love anyway.
Love covers a multitude of sins and we could all use a little break.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”