“Please be careful about hurting people’s hearts,” I was strongly compelled by the Lord to tell a beloved friend not too long after she had hurt me. Truly, given how much I loved her, my heart was broken.
I sensed He didn’t want me to deliver this warning to her in relation to me and how she had hurt me but as an admonition concerning other people to stop her from hurting others. Why would she need this warning? Didn’t she see how she was hurting people and realize she needed to repent before God, seek the forgiveness of the people she had hurt, and strive not to keep hurting people’s hearts? Honestly, she was one of the sweetest, gentlest, kindest people I had known, and I do not believe she had intentionally hurt me and others or even that she necessarily realized she was doing so.
See, sometimes when we’re not careful, we can hurt people’s hearts unintentionally. But we need to take this just as seriously as hurting people on purpose. We need to be sorry and change our ways by the leading, power, grace, mercy, love, and transformation of the Lord whether the hurt we cause is intentional or not. We need to strive to be sensitive to people’s hearts and lives rather than to concern ourselves only with our own.
Friend, please be careful about hurting people’s hearts whether intentionally or not. God’s greatest commands are to love Him with all our hearts and to love others as ourselves. The Lord makes abundantly clear in the Bible what the love to which He calls us looks like both in relation to Him and to others. And it is most assuredly a God-given, God-directed, sacrificial, caring love.
Need the Lord’s forgiveness regarding how you have treated someone? Need the forgiveness of that person or those people? Have some changing and growing to do regarding how you are treating people?
Examples of hurting people’s hearts? Meanness, unkindness, lack of compassion, refusing to forgive people, bossing them around, anger, rage, trying to control and manipulate them, being impatient and rude, losing one’s temper, verbal abuse, physical and sexual abuse, any kind of abuse for that matter, being self-centered and paying no regard to the other person, selfishness, not showing care, ignoring that person’s needs, being greedy, taking and taking and not giving, doing all the talking and never listening, not showing gentleness, not confronting the person in love when the Lord leads, holding back the truth about Christ when He leads us to share the Gospel and/or help someone follow Him, and the list goes on.
Time to make some apologies? And changes? The starting place? Turn to the Lord and His Word!
Father, I am blown away by the amount of messages you pour through me and by how much I learn and grow through receiving and passing them on. I am also astonished at how you are using so many of my life experiences including the really hard ones to love and help others. As much as your refining of me over the years has been excruciatingly painful and challenging, I am so thankful that you love so much you don’t leave me as I was but continue to grow me in your image. Please do the same with my precious readers. Change them. Grow them. Make them and me more and more like you as you transform us and perfect your ways in us. Help us to love! Oh, help us to love! AMEN!
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” John 13:34
“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:3-8