Psalm for the Day

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sticks and stones may break my bones….

“Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm, but the Lord will judge him for what he has done.  Be careful of him, for he fought against everything we said.

 The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me.  Everyone abandoned me.  May it not be counted against them.   But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear.  And he rescued me from certain death.  

 Yes, and the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into his heavenly Kingdom. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.”                     2 Timothy 4:14-18 NLT

It is inevitable that as we go through life people will hurt us.

Sometimes they hurt us by accident...sometimes it is intentional. Sometimes they hurt us by what they do...sometimes it’s by what they say. Sometimes the wounds are superficial and heal other times they are deep and the scars remain a lifetime.  But mark it down somewhere.....People Do Hurt Us!

So what do we do when others hurt us?

How should we react? This is something we need to know.  And the apostle Paul gives us a hint in 2 Timothy 4:14-15...where he talks about a coppersmith named Alexander.

These verses are part of the biographical writings of Paul...which are really like a page out of his spiritual diary. He is telling Timothy some of his experiences as a missionary and as he does -- he mentions a man named Alexander who had hurt him deeply.

Paul was deeply hurt….but he never felt sorry for himself....he never attempted to gain sympathy for himself….he harbored no anger or bitterness over what happened to him. Somehow, Paul had developed the ability to "remember the best and forget the rest in life."

He simply related the incident to warn Timothy to watch out for Alexander.  By doing this he gives us a biblical example of how to respond to the hurts of life.  I hope we can learn from the life of Paul some truth that will help us at some point in our lives.

You see, what happened to Paul can happen to us. People can and often do hurt us... deeply and repeatedly. They exclude us from their us from our job...block us from a promotion...they criticize us unjustly….they treat us unfairly....they say things that are harsh and cruel.

The person who wrote, "sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me" obviously never had anyone say mean or hurtful things to them…....because words spoken harshly and critically can wound you deeply.

So when things like that happen we need to know what to do....we need to know how to respond.

What do we do when people hurt us?  I believe that this experience from the life of Paul will help us to know what to do and how to respond.

Paul mentions this experience with Alexander in such a "matter of fact" way that we know it was a normal part of life.  And he accepted hurts as part of the price of living and serving God.

Now, many people are hypersensitive to criticism and jealousy. They are extremely touchy when some kind of adverse judgment or comments are spoken to them or about them. The least bit of adversity sets them off.

Most understand that hurts are a part of life and when we have a well integrated personality we will accept them without surprise.

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