In this devotion, Julia Attaway learns from Christ's example in order to have empathy for those who hurt others and themselves.
Posted in , Jul 27, 2015
Our weekly parent group was discussing the behavior of their teens. “Why do they say those terrible things?” one mom asked, plaintively.
“For that matter, why do they do them?” another replied. Her daughter had recently been cutting her arms again.
A third woman, whose daughter has been suspended numerous times this year for fighting, replied quietly, “Hurt people… hurt people.”
The conversation stopped. There were thoughtful nods of recognition: Hurt people… hurt people. When we’re hurt, we lash out in anger. We act impulsively. We inflict our wounds on others. Teenagers do the same thing, but often with less wisdom or reflection or self-restraint. Though we recognize that we ourselves sometimes take our frustration and anger out on others, we forget and are bewildered when others do this to us.
Hurt people… hurt people.
The phrase made it possible to shift gears, to see extremely difficult situations from a different perspective. It’s easier to have compassion when you grasp that someone else is hurting. It’s easier to want to help, to respond to the other person’s pain.
Hurt people… hurt people. But not always: Jesus flipped it around. He set a different example, for He was hurt by us, and returned His peace in response to the pain we caused.
It’s as if He said, “Hurt people… need My love. And yours. Regardless of how they are acting.”
“He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Maybe it even stretches out into today. Maybe when we act like Him, and are compassionate like Him, by His wounds the wounds of other are healed, too.