A Lesson in Matthew: Enough is Enough
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A Lesson From MatthewI wanted to start this out with a disclaimer that I am not a psychologist or therapist or an expert on the subject I am discussing below. I am speaking from my heart. If you have an issue happening where someone is physically or emotionally hurting you, reach out to someone who can help you. This can be a trusted friend or family member or someone at your church, and they can direct you to the right resource.
I have the privilege of being the first born in my family. I am stereotypical type-A personality but I am more passive than aggressive. I do like order to things but I enjoy peace better. It hurts me when I see people I care about, going into a path of wrong and unrighteous living. Many of us can relate to this from a close friend or relative living in a way that hurts your heart. If you’ve never experienced this kind of pain, praise God and I pray that you never will.
Matthew 18:21-22 says, “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.”In these verses, Jesus tells Peter to forgive that same person 490 times! Basically, always forgive that person. As a Christian, we are called to forgive, but how many times do we continue to let this person hurt us? The person hurting you sometimes does not even realize how they are affecting you. Maybe you have addressed your feelings about this issue or numerous issues and it always comes out the same. Here is a bit of honesty and it may hurt, but the problem may not be this person, it may be you.
I am not going to make a statement like that, and then not have it reflect on myself. Without getting into too much personal detail, I was speaking with my husband about what I was feeling, probably for the 490th time! He looked over at me and said these words, “Kel, when is enough going to be enough? How many times are you going to set yourself up to be hurt?”
Ouch, that’s honest! But he was right. Here is my husband, my best friend and the love of my life watching me hurt myself again and again over someone else who is hurting me, and it was hurting him to see it. He finished the conversation with these words, “I love you and I just can’t talk about this anymore with you. Stop setting yourself up to be hurt. You need to let this person be and let it go. All you can do now is pray.”
Letting someone go that you care about is hard. I can always continue to pray to God for this person but it was making me sick and destroying my day. At that point, I am doing no good for this person, myself, my family, or giving glory to God to handle this situation.
You tell yourself the next time an issue or situation arises with that person, than that’s it! And then you give them one more chance and then it turns into ten more chances. If this person has pretty much told you they got things under control, unfortunately you need to let them be.
Here is the deal though. I did pray to God on this and I had this hit my heart:
Matthew 7:6, “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”This one person affecting me so much may not need my help, but there are millions of others out there that desperately need it. They need a friend to confide in or comfort them and let them know that everything is going to be okay. There are people lost out there looking for Jesus that you can speak to and help them discover His mighty love. I offer to you this same peace and comfort that you are worthy and needed. Reach out to others that would welcome your aid with praise and delight.
Sometimes the people closest to us can affect us the most, but you have the right to stand up and say, “Enough is enough!” You can do this in a loving way, but realize that your time, advice and counsel are valuable. Don’t waste your time on people who are not going to appreciate you or your efforts, and who are just out to hurt you.
Have you ever experienced someone doing this to you? How did you address the situation?
This post originally appeared as a guest post on Satisfaction Through Christ on October 1, 2014 here.
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