What Would Jesus Do to Help Someone Whose Comments to Others Are Unintentionally Hurtful?
Life is made up of a series of mistakes from which we learn to become better people, to both ourselves and others. Mistakes are unintentional. You usually realize it right away and try to put things right. But some people constantly trip over their words, uttering hurtful comments to others, usually unintentionally, but have no recognition of the emotional pain they have just inflicted on an undeserving person.
Some people are strong enough to shrug off such comments without being hurt, keeping any vengeful retorts within their own heads. Others, however, feel like they just fell victim to some undeserved attack. What does victim mean? According to Princeton’s WordNet, a victim is “an unfortunate person who suffers from some adverse circumstance.” With that definition, it is easy to infer that unintentionally hurtful words being hurled in your direction could make you feel like a victim.
Jesus would want us to help that person learn to filter their comments before recklessly uttering them. But if someone doesn’t realize, or won’t acknowledge, that people are being hurt by what they say, you have to protect yourself. Letting this person’s hurtful comments into your head creates negativity for you. The more negativity you carry around in your head, the harder time you have of maintaining a healthy self-esteem and sense of self-worth.
By taking in the comments that have hurt you and taking ownership of them the person who inflicted them on you has control. Deflect any negative feelings these comments may bring up for you and leave them in the past. By letting go of someone’s hurtful words, you can leave them in the past and concentrate on steeling yourself against them in the future, so they will no longer be able to control you.
Kill Them with Kindness
In Romans 12:21, Paul says: “Don’t be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Learn to forgive a person for uttering hurtful comments, especially when they are unaware of what they are doing. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting, but in not forgetting, do not choose to keep what hurt you within yourself. It’s okay to acknowledge what happened, but then it is time to move on, and forgiveness is a great way to do that.
It may seem like a difficult task to forgive someone who has wronged you with their repentance, but people do it every day. Sometimes, somehow, when a loved one has been horribly injured, for example, those who are left behind are able to forgive the murderer, often trusting in God to exact a final judgment. We are not all that strong, but we can make a difference in our own lives with a little effort.
In Job 11: 13-16, the Bible says, “Put your heart right, reach out to God…then face the world again, firm and courageous. Then all your troubles will fade from your memory, like floods that are past and remembered no more.” Put your heart right through forgiveness. No matter how hard it may be, letting someone off the hook for their transgression is often the right thing to do.
Sometimes people are not willing to see the error of their ways. That leaves us in a position of defense against these people. The way Jesus would have us deal with them is to do what you need to do to protect yourself, but do so in a peaceful and forgiving way. Who knows? Maybe someone treated with enough kindness will eventually started exuding some kindness of their own.