I had been wronged. Truly wronged; there was no doubt in my mind. I had done the right thing, but people were upset with me. As is often the case, those who were actually to blame remained silent and let me take the fall. I was hurt. I was disappointed. Most of all, I really wanted everyone to know that it was not my fault. I did the right thing, but other people failed to follow suit, and I was taking all the blame. For days, I stewed over my situation. “Why didn’t others admit they were wrong? Why were people angry with me? This is so unfair!” I thought to myself.
I vented about it and prayed over it, and I continued to let my hurt feelings consume me for about a week. Until my dear, sweet husband finally told me what I needed to hear: it’s time to get over yourself. Now, before you get offended on my behalf, he was not actually that blunt. Nevertheless, I got the message loud and clear, and he was absolutely right. He told me that nothing I could say would change the minds of people who were wrong. People who know me and care enough about it know the truth of the situation. Those who don’t will always misjudge. Ultimately, I could continue to let my disappointment consume me to no avail, or I could let it go and be at peace in my soul.
How often do we allow hurt and disappointment over righteous suffering or perceived wrongs drain us of our joy? Peter had much to say about suffering for doing right in the book of 1 Peter. He was writing to first-century Christians who truly suffered persecution and even death because of their righteousness. Anytime I compare myself to their sufferings, I feel humbled by my own pettiness. Yet Peter humbled them by reminding those early Christians whose example they followed: Jesus Christ.
“For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” (1 Peter 2:20-24)
This is a powerful message that we as Christians, and I myself, need to take to heart so many years later. Our Savior lived a perfect and sinless life, yet, from the time of His ministry until today, people have misunderstood Him, cast blame on Him, and truly mistreated Him in horribly unjust ways. If anyone has the right to feel hurt, misjudged and disappointed, it is Jesus. He could have, at any time, revealed His glory and proven Himself to be right. But He humbled Himself to the point of death, and He did this so that we, who are actually guilty of sin, might have a hope of salvation–a gift we’ve done nothing to deserve.
So, it is true. I had to get over myself. I had to get over my hurt and resentment because I had no right to be upset. Who I am to sit on my high horse looking down on those who I believed had done me wrong? I am a sinner just like those who hurt me. I am not perfect, but I wanted to act like I was that week. If Jesus Christ Himself could endure righteous suffering in humility of spirit, then I could certainly humble myself to let go of my petty hurt, forgive others, and move on. And once I did, I was so much happier for it.
What haven’t you let go of in your life? What wrong has been done to you that you need to overcome and forgive? I am not asking you to act as though you are in the wrong and those who truly sinned are right. I am not saying that your pain is unjustified. But I am asking you what good has holding on to it done for you? Has it helped your soul? Are you closer to God for it? Or is it on your mind way too much? Has it weighed down your heart and hindered you from finding that peace that passes understanding? It might be time to get over yourself. It might be time to pray for God’s help to forgive the wrong and move on with your life. In the future, we would all do well to meditate on these words from 1 Peter 4:19 rather than on how others have hurt us unjustly: “Therefore, let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” Let us humbly seek to put aside our feelings and let go of the pain that holds us back. Let’s stop worrying about whether or not the world sees who was actually in the wrong. Finally, let’s trust our Lord to take care of us for doing what is right; He never disappoints.