When we have been hurt (physically or emotionally), wronged, offended, left out, lied to and so on, we have our own contributing role to the situation through how we choose to respond. The response of a Born Again Christian who is able to fully hand over their life to the Lord should look differently than the person who still lives in the flesh or follows the world's view of how to react. So then, how do we handle all the difficult situations that inundate us, the situations that leave us broken or even the ones that aren't necessarily a big deal, but weigh down our spirit and hearts all the same?
We can turn to the Lord and to the Bible.
From the very beginning, in Genesis, we see the way the nature of man wants to respond once sin has entered the picture. In the story of Adam and Eve, sin entered man when the fruit from the tree of "knowledge of good and evil" was eaten by Eve (Gen. 2: 17) She then took the fruit to her husband and he too ate the forbidden fruit. (Gen. 3:6)
"Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the tees of the garden.
"Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, 'Where are you?' He said, 'I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.'
"And He said, 'Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?'
"The man said, 'The woman whom You have to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.'
"Then the Lord God said to the woman, 'What is this you have done?' And the woman said, 'The serpent deceived me and I ate.'" Genesis 3: 7-13
The very first response to being wronged, was placing blame on the other. Adam first placed the blame on Eve and then Eve placed the blame on the serpent (Satan). Forget the fact that it was Adam's own decision to eat the apple. Eve did not and could not have forced him to do so. He was willing, but then blamed her because she placed the temptation before him. Eve in turn did the same, but did so with the serpent instead.
We can often fully justify the many types of responses, like blame, anger or running away, that we may have when we've been hurt. The world certainly wouldn't see our response as being wrong, it's what we're taught in TV shows, books, news and even churches. This is one of the reasons why having a righteous or right response can be so difficult, because we fail to recognize that we are responding by the world's terms instead of by God's.
The very cliché phrase "WWJD" or "What would Jesus Do?" has become a joke today, but in all reality, it's an excellent question to ask ourselves, especially in situations where a response is necessary. We can turn to the Bible and read throughout the New Testament, the many ways Jesus chose to respond to those who apposed Him, hated Him, wanted Him dead, lied to Him, spread rumors about who He was. They did every single thing you can do to a man to break him and yet Jesus always had an amazing, yet often simple response. His response was different and dependent on the situation. His response was not to prove Himself right or put Himself above others or cause others pain. His responses required the utmost humility, because He did not fight back, yell, scream, act aloof, talk behind others backs, spread rumors, say words to offend. When He chose to speak, He did so with intelligence, knowledge and with a profound wisdom. When He chose not to speak, His silence was equally profound.
It doesn't matter what the other person(s) has done to you, to strive to live more like Jesus means we respond in a way that would make our Father in Heaven proud of us. If we live our life for the Lord first and foremost and concern ourselves with how He would have us live, as we die to our own will and follow His, our perspective can change. Our response then is not about the other person, about proving ourselves right, finding a way to escape, or justify how right we are, it is instead about doing what God would have us to do and following the example of Jesus.
This is not easy, actually for some of us and for some situations we find ourselves in, it might be the hardest thing we can do. Even once we have had the right response, it does not mean that things will be easier. It's not about easier, or better, or anything along that line. It's about doing what is right before the Lord.