Wednesday, November 3, 2010

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD...the sheep has fallen and can't get up!

It is a fact of life ... people will hurt us.
They hurt us sometimes by the things that they say and at other times by what they do. Or don't say or don't do. Sometimes the hurt is inflicted upon us intentionally and at other times it is unintentional. The problem really does not lie within how the other person hurt us, the issue really is how are we going to handle it?

In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question; "What do you do when someone hurts you?" The top 3 responses were...

1. 100% of those voting said that they pray about it.
2. 16% voted and said that they talk to the person about it.
3. Another 16% responded and said that they just ignore it.

I was so glad to see that "retaliation" was not one of the high percentages. Even though, if we were to all be honest, at one time in our life, "getting even" was probably high on our list. But the truth is paying one evil for another is more damaging to us than the other person. When we react negatively to hurt it only becomes resentment which will lead to bitterness. This is a crippling state to be in.

We cannot always choose our circumstances of life...HOWEVER...we can choose how we respond to them!

JOB 5:2 "For anger slays the foolish man, and jealousy kills the simple."

So many people settle in with their anger and choose to not forgive. Often times this deep seeded bitterness gets carried to the grave with them. The irony of this kind of bitterness is that usually the one that hurt us is not even the one affected by it. While our bitterness, anger and unforgiving paralyzes us, the other person often times aren't even aware of our feelings. They probably haven't given another thought to the offense or maybe even to you. Maybe they moved away or they have died. The only one left to hold on to this crippling grudge is you!

David once asked the question, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul?" (Psalm 42:5) The phrase "cast down" is also the same term used for sheep that have fallen down and stuck on its back. For a sheep, when this happens, it is a life threatening situation.

You see, when a sheep falls on its back, its legs will be in the air and as the blood leaves them, they become numb. To save the sheep, the shepherd does not flip it over right away, he lays the sheep on its side and massages its legs. Once the blood is circulating again, the shepherd slowly turns the sheep upright and holds it until the sheep is restored.

This image is EXACTLY what God wants to do for us!
He sees the unresolved guilt and unrepentant grudge, He wants to take us and hold us until we can catch our spiritual breath. Like the fallen sheep, God (our Shepherd) wants to lift us up to an upright position and restore us to healing and forgiveness.

Been hurt? Don't stay down on your back, allow God to help you breathe again!