We can all relate to the pain of being wronged or hurt. Some wounds inflicted by the injustice of other people can go deep and last a long time. Although wounds heal, there may be scars which last a lifetime. I do not want to diminish any suffering that victims of wrongdoing experience. Injustice on any level is wrong and hurtful. However, I do intend to point out that injustice, even though it may wound us, does not have to destroy us.
The difference between overcoming hurt and being overtaken by hurt rests upon how we respond to wrongs and offenses. We have the option of seeking justice or vengeance. We must choose wisely. The wise choice is to always pursue justice.
Justice is not the same as vengeance. Justice upholds a moral law and responds to wrong behavior within that moral law. Vengeance ignores moral law and returns wrong behavior with similar or worse behavior. Justice is objective. It works within a system. Vengeance is arbitrary. Justice heals. Vengeance destroys.
Victims who turn to vengeance become perpetrators themselves. Their innocence is overtaken by their guiltiness. They become that which caused their suffering. They walk a path of self-destruction.
Jesus teaches us to love and pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44). Love requires the victim to entrust his or her pain into the hands of God; to let the Lord handle the matter with justice. Love does not seek to strike back but seeks that which is best for another, even if the other is someone who has hurt us.
Love does not mean that wrongs and offenses are ignored or excused. Rather, it places the issue before the One who can exercise perfect justice. With the responsibility of justice in God’s hands, the victim can move on from the injustice rather than remaining a victim. Love frees victims of injustice.
Have you been hurt by another? Do not discount the pain from that hurt. Allow yourself time to fully comprehend the wrong done to you. Justice is never served by ignoring evil. But once you have come to terms with the pain, let it go. Turn over the one who caused your pain to Jesus Christ and seek the best interest of your enemy.