[Note: Months ago I wrote in the previous piece, Action and Reaction, about how I found myself stabbed in the back by someone. In the pain of the moment I stopped to consider my situation and what my response should be. I ended the post saying I would share what I wrote on my whiteboard; this is that post. I hope what helped me helps you. -AR]

We’ve all been there…double-over in pain from the sudden stab in the back from a family member, friend, client, or colleague. Why did they do that? How could they hurt me so badly (and not even care!)?

Since I became a real estate agent I’ve been lied to and back-stabbed more in the past two years than in my 28 years in corporate America. Worse, the other arena where I’ve felt the anguish of the blade has been from professing Christians. Over my 13 years as a Christian I’ve had people who I really loved as brothers or sisters in the Lord say and do unspeakably hurtful things.

I followed David’s example in the Psalms. When David was crushed in spirit he counseled himself: Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope inGod; for I shall again praise him, my salvation (Psalm 42:45,11; 43:5).

In the same way, I talked to myself and to the Lord about my hurt. As I did, I wrote the following seven points to remember on my whiteboard:

  • God is sovereign.
  • God has something better.
  • “What you meant for evil, God meant for good.” – Joseph
  • “Be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven.” (Far better than whatever I missed out on!)
  • God is using this to sanctify me and make me more like Jesus.
  • What am I supposed to learn from this?
  • “Shall I not also accept difficulty from God?” – Job
  • Jesus lived his entire life as “the Man of Sorrows” (I have no room to complain.)

As believers, we do not get a free pass to self-pity. Also, while the world says, “I just need to vent…” that concept is not biblical; in fact, it’s sinful. Christians are to be led by our minds and hearts, by knowledge, and by faith. We are emotional creatures, to be sure, but we are not to be led by our emotions.

As believers, we do not get a free pass to self-pity. Also, while the world says, “I just need to vent…” that concept is not biblical; in fact, it’s sinful. Christians are to be led by our minds and hearts, by knowledge, and by faith. We are emotional creatures, to be sure, but we are not to be led by our emotions.

What’s most interesting to me as I revisit this list that I’ve had on my whiteboard for months is that, while I was very upset at the time and deeply hurt, now I have no idea what (or who!) it was who hurt me so deeply. And that also is a blessing from the Lord.

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