Monday, 26 May 2014

Get rid of that pain, before it gets rid of you!

By now, you would have heard of the 22 year old student, Elliot Rodger, who killed in total 6 innocent people in America  due to the pain he felt over being rejected by some women. 

According to the BBC, he had a manifesto published online, which showed  he was born in London and spent the first five years of his life in Sussex. In his own words, "This was a time of discovery, excitement, and fun. I had just entered this new world, and I knew nothing of the pain it would bring me later on,"

Unfortunately he was unable to deal with his pain and ended up killing innocent people and causing their families and his, great pain. People who are in pain often end up causing innocent people pain. You will agree with me that many of us have suffered (or are still suffering) one form of pain or another. Some of us were abused when we were vulnerable, others were abandoned, rejected, humiliated, treated unkindly, ridiculed, denied justice. Still others are mourning the death of a loved one or the ill health of another. 

But like the young man, we have to choose how to deal with our pain. If we don't deal it with it properly, we risk causing others pain and thus repeating the same vicious cycle of 'I'm in pain--->therefore I cause others pain'. Then they become pained--->go on to cause others more pain...

You are probably wondering, "where was God while this was happening?" One of the greatest untruths is that "God does not care." When tragedy happens, and it seems more common now, people wonder, “Why did God allow this?” If we say He is the Almighty, why couldn’t prevent us from pain? If He is loving father like He wants us to believe, why didn’t He step in and do something? Why didn’t He save the innocent man, woman or child from that wicked man/woman? “

The truth is, God cares about us and loves us passionately. He hates injustice, He hates violence and bloodshed. He hates wickedness, He hates it when the strong take advantage of the weak. He hates it when women and children are abused by men. As much as God hates to see the wicked hurt others, He rarely interferes in the way they or anyone else uses their self will. God did not design us as robots. He gave us self will to choose to serve Him. If we refuse to submit to Him, He cannot force us.

God also cares about the wicked person who hurts others. That person is also God’s child and dearly loved by God. Remember God loves us not because of what we do, but because He made us. And so He waits for His wicked child to come back to his senses.  Like the father of the Prodigal Son, God longs to see this wicked child of His make a U-turn, repent and become good. So He waits, because He wants that person to be saved. But in the course of His waiting, the wicked person goes on committing more havoc until he/she repents or is apprehended.

If you can, please report crimes to the civil authorities. Do so to get justice, protect others from the criminal, and force the criminal to bear the consequences of their action. Even when the perpetrator is behind bars, we will still need to deal with the pain that does not go away. Besides we may not always be able to report pain that was caused, due to lack of evidence or the unnecessary hassle it may entail.

Nonetheless, God is a God of justice. He hates injustice and will repay the wicked for their evil, whether or not the police get them.  But we should not bother too much about that, let God be the one to judge them as He sees fit. God may not judge the person the way we would want Him to. Often times we want the person to also suffer pain and we want revenge. But God's justice is to redeem that wicked person, not tear him apart. That wicked person is also God's beloved child and may be hurting too.
Let's therefore put aside thoughts of revenge attacks, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, etc. These actually cause us more pain and can lead to our own outburst of wickedness and so the vicious cycle of pain is repeated. 

It's more profitable to go to our God for freedom from this pain.  He is waiting to bind our broken hearts and restore the joy that was taken away from us. We have the confidence to do this because we know that He understand our pain.

He understands what it means to be hurt, to be lied against, to be crushed, to be persecuted, to be taken advantage of, to be abandoned, to be rejected, to be marginalised, etc. God through Jesus Christ experienced all the  pain we bear. So He understands and will give us the strength to bear the pain without being crushed by it.

This will cause us to have a quiet trust in God (joy) which leads to peace and hope, even in the midst of our pain. It is this behaviour that will minister more than anything to the world. When non-Christians see us acting so peaceful instead of being bitter, resentful and vengeful, given all we have faced or are still facing, they will begin to ask us to lead them to the source of our peace:Jesus Christ.

So yes, you may have every right to be angry, what happened to you may have been painful. I may not understand how much you are hurting, but you have a God who does and He is waiting to heal you.  Therefore do not allow your pain cause you to hurt others or even yourself. The devil rejoices when we do that, his purpose is to "steal, kill and destroy". Any time people hurt others and cause them pain, the devil rejoices. 

Resist him, do not give him the opportunity he wants, by holding onto your pain. Let it go, give it to God and He will give you the strength to do the 'impossible' task of forgiving your enemies, whether they are remorseful or not, and enjoying freedom and peace.
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. - Romans 12:19
"Be angry and YET do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity." - Ephesians 4:27

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