Hurt is a feeling we all dread and everyone tries to avoid. They are either self-inflicted or inflicted by someone else especially by people we know and trust. Hurt comes in many ways and one of which is “being taken advantage of” or like we say “being used”
Have you been used or taken advantage of before? How did you feel? Hurt? And in most cases we blame ourselves for being vulnerable or may use the harsh word “gullible” enough to be used. We think that if we were smarter and wiser the other person would not have succeeded and like Christians say in Ecclesiastes 10:10(b) “… wisdom is profitable to direct.”
Hence we see the scheming, manipulations and intrigues in every relationship between friends, couples, colleagues, neighbors, etc… and because of this, people do not sincerely open up to one another especially in the church, … James 5:16… “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”, hence the dearth of healings and miracles. I believe that is why the world is getting lonelier everyday amidst exponential growth in human birth, migration to already over-crowded places (City Centers) and technological advancements that has made communication easier, faster and clearer. Everyone is on his/her own, living their lives all to themselves without sharing which is unhuman because God did not create us as reclusive beings.
Have you noticed on every App on most device like phones, tablets, laptops, etc. that there is always the “Share”? option. This enables us to share pictures, videos, documents, etc. but we never share of lives, anxieties, faults, fears, etc. because we are afraid that someone might hurt us by using that information to take advantage of us. It’s tough because the world does not have a solution to this and the best you could do is to keep to yourself.
The Church is not immuned from this evil seed. In fact, some will say it is more prevalent in the Church than anywhere else and Yes… it hurts especially when you saw it coming and that is the story of the Believer.
What do you mean you may ask?
See 1st Corinthians 13: 4-7
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…”
This scripture is the “kryptonite” to True Christians and many “wolves in sheep skin” understand this. The foundation of our relationship with God is love… the Bible says in 1st John 4:8(b) … “… for God is love.” … Also, we cannot claim we love God without being obedient to His word and command and His word and commandments says Matthew 22: 37 “And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Loving your neighbor as yourself is using your God given talent, time, energy, experience, resources, etc. to bring the general message of salvation to people but to reach them individually with God’s love and saving grace for the circumstances they find themselves in. It also means been honest and faithful in your dealings towards people even if they are not or do not deserve it.
For instance, your co-workers know that you are punctual, diligent and hardworking because of your godly values and so they come late and do a half-hearted work knowing and relying on the fact that you will fix it.
Or you tell your friend a secret; a challenge that God is still helping with in other to encourage he/she to put her faith in God and they turn around to use such information to either discredit you or something worse… for example, if you are having a challenge with your sexual orientation as against God’s command and you tell someone to either pray along with you or be encouraged to know he/she is not alone in the challenge; none perfect yet but God is helping us all and they use such information against you.”
Can believers avoid hurt from being used or taken advantage of because of obedience to God?