I’ve always been fascinated by the phrase, “hurting people hurt people.” Perhaps because it is true. Perhaps because I have been affected by it. Perhaps because I have hurt people while I was hurting. But nonetheless, it has always fascinated me.
This phrase has been crossing my mind quite frequently lately. I think the phrase causes us to feel some sense of sorrow for the one who is hurting. And I do feel sorry for those who are hurting. We all hurt. So we know the pain.
But what saddens me the most about hurting people…is that they hurt God. Seems kind of harsh, right? It seems like I am saying that we are bullying God. But that isn’t what I’m saying.
God seeks reconciliation. In II Corinthians, Paul states that God is in the business of reconciliation. God seeks redemption. The psalmist speaks of that in Psalm 130. This list could go on and on of all the things that God desires. One thing, however, that does not make that list, is pain. God does not seek pain. He does not seek suffering. He does not want that. He doesn’t want us to hurt. He doesn’t want us to experience pain. He doesn’t want us to suffer.
But because we are hurting people, we hurt God.
An organization that constantly blows me away is People of the Second Chance. It is an organization that is simply centered on grace. It speaks grace into the darkest of places. It speaks love where there is hatred. It speaks hope where there is hopelessness. And it speaks forgiveness where there is hurt. Story after story tells of a person who was hurt, who then hurt others, and then found grace…and was set free from the cycle.
That’s the way it should be. You might be thinking, “yeah, that’s they way it should be for my friend who was hurt by ____________.” Fill in the blank with whatever you like. Most of us will think of something “huge.” But it doesn’t have to be some life-altering action.
Maybe it was a friend lying to you.
Maybe it was a parent not following through with a promise.
Maybe it was a mentor disappointing you.
Maybe it was a teacher not telling the truth.
A minister not helping you.
A Christian not being Christ.
Whatever it may have been, it doesn’t have to be big to cause pain. It doesn’t have to be some life-altering action to cause you to hurt. And then the cycle continues.
You begin to lie to friends…
You begin to not follow through with promises…
You begin to disappoint…
You begin to speak falsely to those who look up to you…
You begin to ignore others…
You begin to not be Christ.
You hurt people because you hurt.
So here is what I mean by the phrase “hurting people hurt…God.” It’s not that you bully God. It’s not that you wrong Him. It’s that you hurt Him because He does not desire to see you hurt. Is there pain in this world? Of course. Is there an explanation? Nothing that will help. How then shall we live? By continuing the cycle of hurting others?
I hope not…
Because then we end up hurting God.
We hurt Him because He does not desire to see us hurt. It pains Him to see us suffer. So is this post about us realizing that we should stop hurting because we make God sad? No. It is a post reminding us that God is a god of reconciliation, redemption, hope, grace, forgiveness, and mercy. Not a god of pain, hurt, and suffering. Is this a post to make you feel guilty about going through pain right now? No. But it is a post to remind you that it is no desire of God’s for you to have to go through pain.
Hurting people hurt God…because God does not desire to see hurt. And one day, He will reconcile. It’s not comforting thinking that the reconciliation is not happening right now. But perhaps you can be that reconciliation for someone. Perhaps you can be the redemption that someone needs. Perhaps you can begin to break the cycle. Perhaps you can realize that there is grace in your story.