There’s a difference between OBJECTIVE hurt and SUBJECTIVE hurt. When Paul was stoned at Lystra and drug outside of the city and left for dead, (Acts 14:8-28) he was objectively hurt on a physical level.
Physical wounds or fractures take a specific amount of time to heal. However, when people reviled Paul, when they criticized him in a verbally insulating way, Paul understood that those words will only hurt him, as long as he lets them. The words that people say, that so often offend us, and sometimes hurt us deeply, can either hurt us for the rest of lives, or we can dismiss the verbal nonsense, forgive the offense immediately, and allow the hurt to offend us only briefly.
Paul had a lot of haters. He had a lot of abusers. He had a lot of reasons to be offended at people but instead, his actions indicated that he never allowed these temporal offenses to cause him to stumble from fulfilling his eternal goal which was to make Christ known!
When someone offends you, you get to determine how long it hurts you.
The cliché statement, “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words/names will never hurt me,” is not fully true, words do hurt. But you have control over how bad the hurt is.
For your sake, I urge you to quickly forgive others of their offenses and instead of living a life full of drama, live a life full of forgiveness. You’ll be glad you did.
The above article was written by James C. Johnson. He is the Pastor of NorthStone Baptist Church in Pensacola. To offer him your feedback, comment below or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When You Feel Like Running - Proverbs 18:10 - Pastor James C. Johnson