Hurt people, hurt people.
In the first phrase above, the word hurt is an adjective depicting the condition of certain people, the second phrase uses hurt as a verb to describe what those in this condition are prone to do. Is this invariably true? Do hurting people abuse and cause injury to others? I would say, not always, but often enough to make the statement ring true. The image that comes to my mind is of a drowning man, who, in his clawing desperation may injure (or even drown) someone who is trying to save him. Should we just let the man drown? May it never be.
Does that mean we should steer clear of hurting people for fear that they may cause us pain or emotional damage? If I’m a self-centered person, I’ll probably respond with some form of self-protection. I’ll seek to keep people from hurting me further by isolating myself. I’ll nurse my wound and self-medicate with drugs, alcohol, overeating, porn, or any number of other “drugs of choice.” When I have to be with people, I’ll push the pain down try to show the world a happy face. If I feel threatened I may lash out with angry words or violent actions; in so doing, I prove the proverb true.
What to do?
“Cast your cares upon the Lord, for he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
“Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you. He will never let the righteous be shaken (Psalm 55:22).
Jesus was and is “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief… He carried our pains… by His wounds we are healed.” (From Isaiah 53:3-5.)
The hurt need to be healed, and Jesus can do just that. In fact, only the Lord can heal us on the deepest level. Will we trust him to do so?
When you’re hurting, pray; then pray some more. Tell the Lord exactly how you feel, and what you fear. Thank God for hearing you. Then, in faith thank him for healing you (even before you feel it). Trust the Lord. Receive his comfort. Then the Holy Spirit may use you to be a comfort to others experiencing the same pain.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 2:3-4, CSB).
People who are healing can help people who are hurting.
Healing is a process, and you may be hurting still. If you’ve received comfort from God and begun to heal, you then you can share your comfort with another hurting person. Maybe they haven’t started the healing process, or they’re not as far along as you are. You could be the encouragement they need. An additional blessing is sensing the Holy Spirit working through you. Along with His presenence you will realize a sense of purpose and significance. You’ll overflow with gratitude toward God for healing you, and for using you to help another be healed.
Yes, hurt people, hurt people. However, God heals hurt people and enables them to help others. So, open your heart to God now. Cry out to him. Let the healing begin! Then, don’t insulate yourself emotionally, or isolate yourself socially. May the Holy Spirit encourage you now. Sometimes the hardest step is the first, but you have to take it or you’ll never be well. That is what God wants for all of us, to be well, whole, at peace. There is one word that encompasses all of that, and it is the Hebrew word Shalom. May you be filled with God’s Shalom now.