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Hurting People Hurt People

Diane Houghtaling - Columnist
Posted 4/15/21

Hurting people hurt people. This does not excuse people from hurting others, and they may not want to or plan to, but we see this principle played out daily in all walks of life.

If we look into …

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Hurting People Hurt People

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Hurting people hurt people. This does not excuse people from hurting others, and they may not want to or plan to, but we see this principle played out daily in all walks of life.

If we look into the past of someone who hurts others, we find times when someone has hurt them, many times leaving deep wounds. If these wounds aren't dealt with and allowed to heal, they will fester within, spreading their poison, which could progress into causing pain to others.

It is never acceptable for anyone to hurt children, but so much abuse happens at this level because children aren't able to defend themselves. Abused children do not know how to deal with the wounds, the pain and the rejection, and they carry these scars with them throughout life until they learn how to let the pain go and receive healing.

Most of the time those who abuse children have been the recipients of abuse in their own lives. This abuse can come from anyone who has authority or exerts power over a child - a parent or other relative, a teacher or other authority figure, older siblings or children.

Abuse of any kind will cause children to grow up feeling worthless, unlovable, unaccepted, rejected, humiliated, having no value, and needing approval. They do not know how to have healthy relationships with others, and at times repeat the abuse they received as these learned behaviors surface unexpectedly.

Hurting people may hurt others who trigger memories of their own abuse or pain. Since their unhealed pain is always raw and always before them, they usually cannot see the pain of others clearly.

A parent who neglects, rejects, or cannot show love to their child does not realize or acknowledge the pain that child is carrying with them. The husband who humiliates, berates or bullies his wife cannot see her pain. They are only focused on their own pain.

If you see yourself in this scenario in some way, there is hope and help available to you. If you have been walking around for years consumed with pain in your heart and pain that never leaves no matter what you do to try to dull it, there is healing available. If you find yourself hurting others and causing them pain, there is a way to break those chains.

Help is available through counseling, support groups, etc., but will only be successful if you are ready to put in the hard work required to work through the pain of your past. You must dig out the root of the pain, discover the triggers that cause you to react, and learn how to respond in healthy ways.

The Bible gives the key to learning appropriate and healthy living. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Hurting people live by unhealthy learned patterns, and their minds must be transformed and renewed to learn a better way.

As we read and study God's word, we learn this better way to live. We learn to speak the truth of His word to the lies we've been told and believed. We learn to surrender the pain and sorrow of our pasts to a God who loves us unconditionally and wants only healing and wholeness for us. As we learn to receive this great love, we also receive the healing we desperately need.

Hope Ministries is a Christian counseling center, and we are here to help. If you would like to speak confidentially with someone, give us a call at 482-5300.

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