So here is Part 3, which is actually Part 2 of the 5 Part series on Loved People, Love People. Hurt People, Hurt People. You can read Part 1, which is actually Part 5 (HERE) and Part 2, which is actually Part 1 (HERE). Now that you’re thoroughly confused…we can start.
Just to preface this, hurt people, hurt people, in that people that hurt people are generally hurting themselves. Obviously I am not a counselor, but I’ve done some study on this. I don’t plan on going into the deep psychological aspect of this idea, and I’ll only mention why this happens briefly, the rest of the post will be focused on what this means to those that aren’t hurting.
So the verse that, for me, confirms that hurt people, hurt people is Proverbs 10:12a. The NLT says, “Hatred stirs up quarrels” or as the MSG says, “Hatred starts fights.” The concept being that those that hate are going to cause dissension among others. So it should follow that those that are sad, bring a spirit of sadness with them (we have all been there when we’re having a good time and someone that is locked in this sadness shows up and it changes the whole spirit of the room), anger begets anger and so on.
Now, I don’t want to speculate as to why any of this is the way it is, because I’m sure there are many reasons. I suppose that some are comfortable functioning in environments that are unsettled, some may figure that others should feel what they do or need others to relate to them, and some may not even realize their behavior causes others to hurt. What I do know is this: There is a world of hurting people and a lot of them don’t see any hope for a life different that what they have.
My frustration in this comes when others, namely Christians that are called to LOVE others, say things like, “I tried to love them, but I just can’t, they’re too hard to love.” This is a cop out. Here’s the essential understanding that needs to be had about hurt people: THEY…ARE…HURTING. Hurt people are by definition hurting. Often times, especially if they’re trapped in that hurt; they cause others to become hurt. And sometimes the people they may hurt are the same people that are trying to love the hurting person through that hurt.
When dealing with a hurting person, there is potential for them to lash out at you, maybe turn their anger on you and maybe, quite intentionally, seek to hurt you. They may seek to belittle and criticize your attempts at love, but the Bible says, “Bless those who persecute you. Don't curse them; pray that God will bless them.” Romans 12:14
Now, I’m not saying to let them humiliate you and walk all over you, even though Jesus did… But, far too often it is convenient and easy to walk away from some one that is in desperate need of the love of Christ that you already possess and have been commanded to share. They are looking for the cure all, we have it, and their “hurt attitude” is too much for us to bare. In a word that’s…Crap!
Here’s the bottom line: Part of the nature of hurting people is that they are going to do things, either intentionally or inadvertently, that hurt others and sometimes it might be the person that is trying to love them. But that doesn’t matter. We are called to the hurting. We are called to love them and bring them the love that surpasses all understanding and is the source of all comfort. We don’t have to have all the answers or solutions to their problems…that’s not our job, we’re not their Savior. Sometimes we just have to be willing to “Be” with them. Sometimes that's the love they need, but the point is, they need you.