Don’t Take the Blame
Sometimes we feel pain in our soul because we’ve hurt someone else accidentally. Oftentimes we hurt those people because we were hurting, too, and we didn’t mean to wound them. This is especially true for women who have been through abuse or major hurt while growing up. They never wanted to cause problems; they simply didn’t know any better, so they inadvertently passed on the same pain to their children. The same could be said for people who hurt friends, spouses, or other family members unintentionally.
As we mature and come to realize that something we said or did caused pain or struggle in another person’s life, we may feel very badly about it. When that happens, the best thing to do is talk to the person, admit what we’ve done to cause pain, and offer a sincere apology. We may also feel we can explain to the person what was going on with us at the time or tell them how we came to realize that we hurt them. The most important parts of this kind of conversation are to take responsibility for our actions and to apologize. If there’s anything we can do to make it right with that person, we should offer to do so. If not, we can simply pray that God will continue to heal and strengthen him or her.
In situations where hurt has been especially deep, people may not be ready to move on. Instead, they may remind us repeatedly of what we’ve done and use our admissions and apologies against us. They might say things like, “The reason I am the way I am is that you hurt me so deeply years ago!” Or, “If you hadn’t done what you did to me, I wouldn’t have done that!” When we hear those words, we can be tempted to feel guilty or condemned about our past actions.
Once we’ve confessed our sin to God, received His forgiveness, admitted our faults to those we’ve hurt and apologized to them, we should no longer carry the guilt of our mistakes or failures. God offers us free and ultimate forgiveness, and when we have that, we can see ourselves as clean and made right, regardless of what other people say to us.
John 3:17 (NIV) says, For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him, and Romans 8:1 declares that there is no condemnation for those who belong to Him. No matter what you’ve done, you can live free, forgiven, and healed in Jesus. The people you have hurt may not be quick to forgive you, but God always will be.
Prayer Starter: Father, please remind me (especially when I’m feeling guilty or condemned) that I’m forgiven, healed and free of my past because of You. Thank You for always being quick to forgive, and for helping me grow. In Jesus’ Name, amen.