Are you struggling to overcome being hurt by a brother or sister in Christ? No matter how much you try, you will hurt others… and they will do the same to you. It’s a hard and sad truth you have to accept.
However, it’s important to learn how to respond in love like Jesus. Praying for those who hurt you does this. It’s a powerful way to love others by changing both you and them.
How to Deal With Hurt Feelings Biblically
Everyone experiences hurt—even Jesus did. He experienced great betrayal by those close to him and can understand your hurt deeply. This truth helps you go to him in prayer. Don’t keep the hurt feelings in; go to him, being completely honest, and pouring it all out.
“Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” (Psalm 62:8, NIV)
This will allow you to not be ruled by your emotions, respond to that person in anger, or want revenge. You don’t want your hurt feelings to stay within you or cause you to react in an ungodly way, leading to not walking in his righteousness.
Keeping things in is toxic and leads your heart further away from Jesus. Go to Jesus first.
What Does the Bible Say About Someone Mistreating You?
Jesus hates sin and it was not his design for you to be mistreated. It was not his fault or his doing. He loves you so much and wants the very best for you.
When you are hurt by mistreatment, the Bible speaks about how you should respond in love.
“But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” (Matthew 5:39, NIV)
Jesus wants you to forgive those who have hurt you, and to extend grace by giving them another chance.
This is for your benefit, even though it is hard to react in this way. It will build your character and it’s the best way to love yourself by not holding onto the mistreatment. It shows whomever hurt you the love of Christ, so that they can see a better way.
“If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?” (Matthew 5:46, NIV)
Loving those who hurt you isn’t as easy as loving those who love you. But it gives you the ability to be like Jesus, rest in the peace you crave, and live a good righteous life: these are some of the rewards you will receive by choosing to follow God’s word.
Focus on the bigger picture and don’t let hurt be your downfall, because it can.
Jesus Said To Love One Another
Jesus said to love one another in the Bible.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35, NIV)
This is a higher calling that you should choose. It will change your life, demonstrating that you love God, and allows you to love yourself and in turn love people even when they hurt you.
If you want to be like Jesus and show him to others, you have to know that when people hurt you this is what you always have to do.
Loving others is completely counterintuitive to what you are inclined to want to do. You should do it for both your greater good and others’. Choose to live a different way; one that follows Jesus.
The response to walking in his love will reap a harvest, leading others to have a soft heart. This starts with letting go of your hurt in prayer and praying for others. If you are struggling to pray for those who hurt you, these 4 ways can help get you started.
1. God’s Love
God’s love radically transforms like nothing else. It brings people to their knees and opens their hearts to repent and know they can be better. Pray for those who hurt you, that they would know the great love of Christ in a deeper way, and that it would change them.
“May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” (Ephesians 3:19, NLT)
The more someone knows his love, the better.
2. The Heart
When you are hurt by someone, it’s important to pray for that person’s heart. Only Jesus knows the state of a person’s heart—and only he can change it.
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10, NIV)
When you pray for their heart, it can change their attitude toward you, and help them to realize their own hurt that they might not even have been aware of. When God moves in someone’s heart, things shift.
3. Recognition of Wrongdoing
When someone doesn’t acknowledge that they did something wrong, how can they turn from it? This is why you need to pray for those who hurt you—that they have a recognition of their wrongdoing so they can be right with God, and then others.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, NIV)
You should want others to know they need God and acknowledge they make mistakes in order to receive his grace—to love and not hurt. God will deal with those who hurt you. Your job is forgiving those who hurt you and praying for them. Pray they know their wrongdoing.
Pride can make you think you did nothing wrong and keep you in a place where you will never apologize… because you think you are right. This isn’t showing God’s love.
“Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18, NLT)
Everyone makes mistakes and needs the grace of God. That is why you need to pray for those who hurt you to let go of pride and for their eyes to be opened to their pride. This will allow them to know they are not perfect and need the grace of God, always.
Maybe they will apologize… but that should not be your goal. Getting a “sorry” is nice, but the main thing should be them and their relationship with God. You always want to encourage someone in that.
Praying for those who hurt you is walking in God’s love. Praying that they know God’s love more, for their heart, that they recognize their wrongdoing, and that they let go of pride is a good place to start. Choose to love people like Jesus says you should, and pray.
Hi, I'm Nikki
My goal is to help and equip Christian women like you to live for Jesus by following Matthew 22:37-39: to love God, to love yourself, and to love others.