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Blog #38- When You've Been Wounded

Have you ever been wounded by someone? Really wounded? To the point where you can’t stop replaying it in your mind, wondering if you’ll ever get over it? If you have, you know exactly what I mean. It’s the club that no one wants to join, though most of us already have.

Now, imagine knowing in advance that person is going to hurt you. Would you treat that person differently? Would you start distancing yourself, hoping to alter the course of history?

I know I would.

In John 13, Jesus is sharing a final meal with the disciples. He is on the brink of Judas’ betrayal, yet He chooses to love them all with a very specific and generous act. He took the high road, knowing what was in the heart of one of His most trusted followers.

Now, before you write this story off because it was Jesus, let me caution you. I know Jesus was perfect and holy and always made the right choice. Blah, blah, blah. I get it. He was also human and felt life as deeply as we do.

And PS- Knowing in advance that someone is about to hurt you and choosing to love them anyway is just as hard, if not harder, than loving them after the damage is done. Think on that for a moment.

Back to Jesus feeling deeply… in verse 21 it states, “Jesus was troubled in His spirt.” That’s the holy way of saying, Judas was about to stab Him in the back and Jesus was already feeling the pain.

Before verse 21 played out, though, Jesus performed the humbling act of washing his feet. An act which immediately separated them, elevating one above the other as prized and of great importance. So how did Jesus do that knowing what was about to happen?

Our answer lies in verse 3, right before He washed their feet:

“Jesus… knowing that He had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper.”

He rose.

Oh, how easy it would have been for Him to stay seated! He could have waited until the meal was over and Judas had left to do his dirty deed. Then Jesus could have risen and washed their feet. But, no. While Judas was there and with the pain on the horizon, He rose.

He was able to rise in front of Judas because of the rest of the verse. One, He knew He had come from God and, two, He knew He was going back to God. In other words:

· He knew He was God’s son. He had nothing to prove.

· He knew Judas couldn’t do anything to hurt Him permanently. He was on His way back home.

· He knew His purpose on earth was not to have lasting, perfect relationships. It was to die for broken people and their broken decisions.

Knowing who He was and where He was headed gave Him the ability to rise up and love someone who didn’t deserve it. It didn’t negate the pain of betrayal, but it did give Him the ability to tower over His circumstances and see Judas as a broken man, making broken decisions.

We are all broken people who are givers and receivers of brokenness. It is what we do with our brokenness that matters. When you know who you are (child of God) and where you are headed (Heaven), it gives you the ability to rise up and forgive. It might be messy or really hard, and it doesn’t negate or excuse their behavior, but it’s an effective way to stop the broken record from replaying in your mind.

You don’t have to wash the feet of everyone who has ever hurt you, but you can choose to see them as broken people who made broken decisions. And there is nothing they have done that can hurt you permanently because of where you are headed.

It may hurt now, but it won’t forever. So, it’s ok to stop reliving it in your mind.

Instead, rise up.

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