Hurt People Hurt People - The One Year Book of Hope

Hurt People Hurt People

You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13

An e-mail came from someone I hadn’t seen in years, and it said, among other things, “What has occurred to me throughout Hope’s life, from this distance, is that the focus was not necessarily on her, and I find that more saddening than her death. Her life and death seem to not be about Hope, the child, but more about the parents of Hope.” I felt stunned that he would pick the lowest time of my life to reach out to hurt me. My first instinct was to defend myself and find others to defend me. I cried plenty as I weighed his words as well as his seeming desire to injure me. The next day I wrote to a friend:

The more I thought about it, the more I realized how much disappointment and hurt my old friend has had in his life. It was out of that aching pain that he reached out to hurt me. I began to wonder just how miserable he must be to want to add to my pain at such a low point in my life. The truth is, hurt people hurt other people. Can you see that in the lives of some of the people who have hurt you? Will you think about the person or people who have hurt you deeply and step into their shoes? Allow yourself to feel the hurts and disappointments they’ve experienced. Will you ask God to replace your criticism with compassion, your resentment with empathy?

Father, teach me to respond in compassion to hurting people who hurt me. Help me to let go of my need to defend myself and to learn to love others like you do.


Read 1 Samuel 18–19 and 24:1-8. What hurts prompted Saul to want to hurt David? How did David respond?

From the Book: