I write so much about being hurt, broken-hearted over break ups and people who didn’t see your worth or treat you with respect. Break ups are hard, and when people treat you badly it is so easy to take that as a reflection of who you are as a person when, in reality, it has nothing to do with you.
However, I also hear from many, many people, men and women alike, who ask, “What if I was the one who treated someone badly? I was the one who didn’t see their worth and hurt them and messed everything up. What now?”
This post is for you.
First of all, it is good that you recognize your mistake. There are a lot of people out there who hurt people over and over again and simply don’t care. They leave a trail of ashes behind them and go on their merry way, not knowing, or fully grasping that you always reap what you sow. This is not you. You know you have done something wrong, and you feel guilt over it. Maybe it was because of your insecurities, or selfishness, or plain stupidity, either way, you treated someone badly when they didn’t deserve it. Understand that this is good. It is good to feel guilt. Just like pain, guilt tells us that something is wrong, and needs to be healed.
How do you deal with this guilt? Go to God. First and foremost, God is the mender of our hearts and our lives. He is the ONLY remedy for our sin, and He alone has the answers in dealing with it. Be honest with God. Tell Him what you have done in sinning against another person and against Him. Give Him your hurting heart, broken by sin and guilt and allow Him to shelter you under his wing. When we take our hurts to the feet of Jesus, even the ones we foolishly brought upon ourselves, He is faithful to forgive us and bind up our wounds. We serve an amazing God.
Next, we do need to seek forgiveness from the person we hurt. That may mean having a face to face conversation and letting go of our pride. It may mean writing a letter or making a phone call and confessing what you did wrong and asking for forgiveness. It may not mean that your relationship will be restored to what it was before, but it will mean that you have done everything you could to make sure that your relationship with that person is right before God. Understand that as soon as you have received forgiveness from God and asked forgiveness from the person you hurt, you have done all that is required of you. Whether that person forgives you or not is not a reflection of your forgiveness from God. They do? Wonderful. They don’t? That is their load to bear. Sure, it may hurt to hear that what you have done is beyond forgiveness, but it is not true. If God can forgive all of our filthy sin, surely we are able to forgive one another.
Lastly, move forward. Do not live your life stuck in a rut because of what you have done. Don’t live in guilt or shame any longer. Don’t live afraid of love because of how your behavior in the past. Pick your head up and move forward in and with the grace of God, knowing that His grace is greater than all of our sin and His plan is bigger than our mistakes.
My prayer for you today is that you turn your whole heart and life over to God. Learn from this mistake that you can not learn to live or love on your own. You need the help and guidance of the very Author of life and of love. He has the answers, and His ways are perfect, and when we put our trust in Him, He will never, ever fail us.