You know the saying, "Innocent until proven guilty." Well, I think that I am no longer innocent.
Joining in the choir of pain with those around me, I have had my fair share of hurts, pains and let downs by others. I'm sure you can relate... We have all been hurt in our own way and all feel alone at times because of it due to this absence of relation of pain. Our feelings are legit. Our hurt is real, our pains sting for years and we can probably still feel the raised scar it has created on our hearts, souls and minds.
As I feel my scars, it's easy for me to think, "Oh poor me. Look what's been done to me." Although I have been hurt, I do not have the right to wallow in that pain and loneliness day in and day out because really, it's not all about me. When I make it about me, I may consciously or subconsciously use it to my advantage and in turn create scars on hearts that do not belong to me. *GASP* Knife to my heart with the truth... those hearts that I have created scars on do not belong to me, but to God.
Scripture that I often want to run far away from when I'm hurting is:
"Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men."
We are also told in 1 Corinthians 10:24 to seek the good will of others and not just ourselves.
And in 1 Peter 3:8-9 to live with brotherly love and with tender hearts. This is so important with our brothers and sisters of Christ.
Pain is not fun, but amidst that pain, it's still not all about us. This is one of the most challenging places I find myself to be in at times. The Guilty Victim. When I long for comfort and support in suffering, pain or hurt, there are others around me who too long for a similar if not the same sense of love from me. My pain is not the center of the universe, although it may feel like it at times, but we must be reminded that our God, the only One good and holy is the center. The One who has chosen to personally love us through this pain. In pain, in hurt, in suffering, let's be reminded that we are to encourage and lift one another up in each other's hurts, but let us seek the Lord for strength to do the same for others. I need to remember to pray daily that what I do is pleasing to the Lord, and in what I do, I am also thinking and placing my brothers and sisters before myself. The Lord is with me, so whom shall I fear by even placing others before myself? He has not forgotten me and will not abandon me.
A community of believers is vital. Honesty is of the essence and forgiveness is not an option. As our scars heal and as we continue to look to God for that strength, we must forgive those who have hurt us and caused scars. The scars I have should be used to glorify God not basking in unforgiveness; scars tell a story and we all have a story to tell. Scars also heal and strengthen not only us, but those around us. Our scars may seem insignificant and small, but to others they are evidence of a God who helps and heals; a God who will continue to walk with each of us through our pain and yet remind us gently that we are vessels to be used to glorify Him and help heal others.
So yes, I am the guilty victim. I have been hurt, but I am far from perfect. I have hurt others with cutting words, actions, reactions and who knows what else. Let me just say I am thankful that love does not keep a record of wrongdoings and I am thankful that God is love. May the Lord give us strength and season our words and actions with love and gentleness to our brothers and sisters. With Christ as our example of the most humble servant, who's offered us eternal life with Christ, may we love and learn selflessness each moment.