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Evaluate the hurt with God’s Word.

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NLT.

Whenever you are trying to pinpoint why you feel hurt or why you are seeking forgiveness, use 1 Corinthians 13 as a guide to evaluate the hurt. Ask yourself, do I feel like they were impatient? Do I feel like they were rude? Do I feel like they were only thinking of themselves? Once you pinpoint it, then you can go to the person to express, “I feel like you were impatient with me.” Or “I feel like you didn’t consider me, but were only thinking about yourself, and that hurt.” Now, the two of you have something to work with.

Whenever you are trying to pinpoint why you feel hurt or why you are seeking forgiveness, use 1 Corinthians 13 as a guide to evaluate the hurt. Ask yourself, do I feel like they were impatient? Do I feel like they were rude? Do I feel like they were only thinking of themselves? Once you pinpoint it, then you can go to the person to express, “I feel like you were impatient with me.” Or “I feel like you didn’t consider me, but were only thinking about yourself, and that hurt.” Now, the two of you have something to work with.

Whenever you are trying to pinpoint why you feel hurt or why you are seeking forgiveness, use 1 Corinthians 13 as a guide to evaluate the hurt. Ask yourself, do I feel like they were impatient? Do I feel like they were rude? Do I feel like they were only thinking of themselves? Once you pinpoint it, then you can go to the person to express, “I feel like you were impatient with me.” Or “I feel like you didn’t consider me, but were only thinking about yourself, and that hurt.” Now, the two of you have something to work with.

It is the same when seeking forgiveness for something wrong you’ve done. Go down the list in 1 Corinthians 13, and ask yourself, was I unkind? Was I overly sensitive and easily angered? Did I believe the best of that person? Once you locate the problem, now you can go to the person and say, “I apologize for being unkind toward you. You don’t deserve that.” Or “I apologize for not believing the best of you.” This way, when it comes time to communicate your hurt, you can express it accurately and receive the healing you need, and God is glorified.

Every offense is an offense against love. Evaluate the hurt according to God’s Word. Evaluate why you feel you need to apologize. Once you have located it, now you can communicate it effectively.
Prayer: Father God, thank you for speaking directly to my heart. Your word is a lamp to my feet. Help me to use it to guide me in every situation I face. Heal my heart, Lord, and keep it free of all offense. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

(Read Psalm 119:105)

Be Accountable

“As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17

A body that is deficient in iron will cause one to become physically weak. Likewise, a friendship that is iron deficient, where no one is being sharpened, will also become weak. People may fear to upset you or hurt your feelings, but a real friend that truly loves you would much rather make you upset and please God instead of appeasing you.

Accountability is not bossing people around and telling your friend what to do with her life. It is encouraging her to do what God has already instructed her to do in His Word. You are not only helping each other stay out of sin, but helping one another move forward into being all that God created you to be.

You will never grow on an island isolated away from people. Nor will you grow if you surround ourselves only with those that tell you what you want to hear. You need people that get up under your skin and irritate you, and those who encourage you to grow and mature. Not “yes” people, but a friend who feels personally responsible for helping you reach your full potential and fulfill God’s plan and purpose for your life.

Sharpen your friends, and let them sharpen you. There will be sparks, but you will be a better person and your friendship will be stronger.

Prayer: Father God, I need more iron in my life. I pray that you send true friends that will not appease me but will sharpen me and help me be all that you called me to be. Help me also to be iron for others, someone who knows how to hold people accountable without fear, but from a place of love and humility. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

(Read Hebrews 10:24)