“I’ve been hurt before”
How many times have you heard this statement used as an excuse for trust or commitment issues? How many times have you used it? Frankly, people, it is 2013 and it’s time for us to GET OVER IT!
After a certain age, or after we’ve been in a couple long-lasting relationships, chances are that we have ALL been hurt before. But it truly saddens me to know that people are unwilling to let themselves love someone else or be loved by someone else because they are so caught up in the fear of a repeat of being hurt. As Christians, we cannot allow ourselves to be ruled by this fear!
God does not want us to be afraid
2 Timothy 1:7 says For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Fear should have no part in a Christian’s (love) life. God has given us the power to choose, and to ask Him for wisdom in choosing, a significant other. God has provided the perfect example of love so that we can love others. God has given us the sanity (discernment) to stay away from those unfit to be our significant others. If you find fear cropping up in your relationship, pray on this Word and ask God if it is truly fear or if it is the Spirit of God telling you this person is not God’s choice for you.
God wants us to forgive
Hebrews 8:12 tells us that God will not remember our sins. So if we are to emulate God, why are we holding on to what someone in the past has done to us and using that as an excuse to not commit fully to someone else? We need to forget in order to get past our hurt, and the only way to do this is to forgive. Sometimes we think we have forgiven the person who has hurt us. We should examine our hearts and determine if this is really true. If years later we are still holding on to the fact that we’ve been hurt in the past, then we probably have not truly forgiven them. And besides, it’s not fair for someone to suffer for someone else’s sins. (Jesus did enough of that!) We should give them a real chance to prove that they can treat us better.
God wants us to move on
God does not want us to live in the past. Phillipians 3: 13-15 speaks of a mature person having a mindset of “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead”. Our past should not be brought up as a tool or defence of noncommittal behaviour in the present or future. Our past should not imprison us so that we cannot enjoy what newness God wants to bless us with. And our past should not keep us from a more blessed future!
Hurt comes with the territory
Finally, if you want to love and be in a relationship, you have to be willing to risk being hurt and hurting someone. Only God can love us unconditionally – a true love that involves no hurt, after all God is love (1 John 4:16) and God will not hurt us (James 1:13). The phrase “love hurts” is a lie. Only the consequences of our inevitably imperfect attempts at love will hurt. It’s only when we do not behave in the perfect Biblical loving example (1 Cor 13: 4-10) that we hurt or get hurt. We need to accept that hurt will happen and it’s how we deal with it that is important.
Caution versus fear
Now I’m not saying that you should not to be cautious when you are forming new relationships, but don’t give a half-hearted attempt of commitment because you are afraid of being hurt again. If you’ve observed the person you like long enough and see that true Christ-like qualities are there, give them a clean slate to work with and not one covered with the markings of your past. Pray to God about your choice and ask God to let the desires of your heart be in line with His desires for you. Ultimately, we do not want to end up with someone who will hinder us from growth in Christ.
I hope that God blesses any new relationships in store for you this year, or matures the love in any current relationships you are in.
And remember to love like you’ve never been hurt!