Know anyone who is mean to others… people who seem to offend others virtually all the time? I read a quote by John Maxwell in his book, “Winning With People,” that is helping me understand both myself and others…
Hurting people hurt people and are easily hurt by people (Pg 19).
The question the author suggests in response to this statement is, “Do I hurt people and/or am I too easily hurt by them?” Meditate upon that for a while.
He suggests that when hurting people lash out at others, they are reacting to something inside themselves. Their own hurt results in them hurting others. And many times what they end up doing is hurting themselves more than those they hurt.
Why do we hurt? Because someone has wounded us (A hurting person hurt us). Why do we hurt others? Because we have not forgiven the person who hurt us, and thus we perpetuate the problem. Why do we get hurt so easily? Because we haven’t dealt with an earlier hurt in our lives. What is the answer?
First, we must recognize the truth about ourselves (That is the hardest thing to do!)… that we are hurting others because we’ve been hurt by someone and haven’t dealt with it Biblically.
Realizing the truth about ourselves is painful and probably the reason most of us don’t want to know it. It is doubtful that anyone reading this really wants to know the truth about what others think of them. But only by seeing our blind spots can we do something about them.
Second, we must forgive the person who hurt us. Aside: If you can forgive easily, you haven’t been wounded deeply. Forgiveness is a process, not an event.
The way we are able to forgive others is when we comprehend the depth to which we have been forgiven by God… when we didn’t deserve His forgiveness. Only then are we capable of forgiving the person who has wounded us.
Third, the result of realizing the truth about ourselves is we become much more careful not to hurt others. And when we do hurt others we are quick to ask for forgiveness and make things right.
I personally think that hurting people who hurt others and are easily hurt by others generally, and pretty much as a rule, don’t know or realize their condition. They are blind to what is going on in their lives… and they’ll never know it until/unless God reveals it to them (I know that as one who has experienced it!).
In other words… only God through Jesus can heal a hurting person so that they don’t hurt others or are easily hurt by others.