This week, we are continuing our series The Great Divide with a message of racial unity. Today, we will cover the third barrier that can keep us from racial unity—hurt.
My daughter asked me what I was writing about, and when I told her racial unity, she asked if I was qualified. I admit, I have not encountered a great deal of racial diversity. In fact, my children’s circles are much more diverse than mine, and I admire them for that. But I have experienced today’s topic, hurt, as I’m sure you have too.
We have all been wounded by someone along the way or had a bad experience. It hurts, and we all respond to that hurt a little differently. I know my response to being hurt is often to withdraw. When I’m hurt, I usually run away, suck it up, and pretend it never happened. This frequently results in a festering of bad emotions and ends in a blowup!
How do you handle getting hurt or being offended?
Did one (or a few) bad actors become all? Some of us respond to one person hurting us by blaming everyone who is similar—ALL men, ALL women, ALL Black, ALL White, and so on. Think about the political situation in our country. Many of us are blaming all Republicans, all Democrats, all conservatives, or all liberals. In reality, our failure to place ourselves in our neighbors’ shoes, to better understand their perspectives, may be keeping us from unity, particularly racial unity. Being exposed to different situations and getting to know people who are “different” than you can go a long way in bringing about unity.
Some of us respond to getting hurt by putting up a wall of protection so that it doesn’t happen again. The wall may be physical, such as distance, like moving away. Or it may be emotional, such as not interacting with someone or withdrawing altogether.
Regardless of how we’ve responded in the past, the breakthrough to the barrier of hurt is family. God’s family.
18 Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us. 19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.
No matter what hurt we have experienced in our lives, God invites us into a place of love, security, and purpose. We can come to the Father, receive God’s grace and healing, and in return, extend that grace to others.
When was the last time you were hurt? How did you react? How could you have reacted differently, showing Christ’s love?
The next time someone hurts you, think before you react! Show them love! Try to expand your “circle” to include others who are different from you.
Examine the hurts in your life. Give them to God, and ask him to restore you. Listen and sing these words from the song “Breakthrough” by Red Rocks Worship. “You alone can take my scars. Piece by piece restore my heart. Take what’s broken, make it whole again.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for all you have done for me. Help me to show your love to others who are different than I am. Amen.
This post was written by Pam Haynam. Pam is a writer for the LivingItOut Bible Study and a cook for the weekend worship band. She has a passion for education having served her community on a district school board and is currently serving on a board that sponsors charter schools across the state. She and her husband have three grown children, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, and four grandsons.
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