Don’t carve hurt in stone, let it blow away in sands

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A story tells that two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: “Today my best friend slapped me in the face.” They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: “Today my best friend saved my life.”

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?” The other friend replied: “When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.”

Learn to write your hurts in the sand and to carve your benefits in stone. They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forgive them.

All of us have been hurt by people and God’s word gives some great wisdom on this subject on how to handle it. Ephesians 4:26-27 God’s word says, “In your anger do not sin.” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

When someone hurts you there are several emotions. Sadness, disappointment and distrust are just a few. But one emotion mentioned in this passage is anger. When you are hurt by someone, whether in word or deed, you get angry. God acknowledges that you will get angry, but in your anger, do not sin. When you are as mad as a wet hen at someone, it is a natural tendency to cause them the same hurt they caused you. You must not do that.

The next instruction God’s word gives is “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” In other words do not hold onto it. This may take longer than a day, but do not carve the hurt and anger in stone, but rather in sand. How can you do this? Do not allow the hurt and anger to fester in your heart, but rather let go of it into the Lord’s powerful and gracious hands. He knows what is going on. He knows your hurt and pain. Ask the Lord to help you forgive the person.

You may be saying to yourself “Preacher you are crazy! Why should I forgive that person? You do not know what he or she did to me! That person does not deserve my forgiveness!”

In my anger, there have been times I have felt that way. But remember this no one earned or deserved God’s forgiveness, yet when His one and only son Jesus Christ hung and died on the cross it was for the forgiveness of your sins. Not just few sins, but every single one. Not just unintentional sins, but the intentional ones as well. Allow that truth to soak into your soul.

 In the light of this truth, forgive others. Do not allow unforgiveness, anger and bitterness to give the devil a foothold in your life. The end result will not be good. Resolve to write your hurts in the sand.

If you do not have a church home we invite you to join us at Ghent Baptist Church. Bible study starts at 9:45 a.m. Our Worship service starts at 10:50 a.m. We also have a Wednesday night service called Oasis at 7 p.m. This is a contemporary service open to all people. May God’s richest blessings be yours this week. Love God and love people.

The Rev. Graham Reynolds is pastor of Ghent Baptist Church in Ghent, Ky.