No one’s perfect. We all mess up sometimes. Whether we say something hurtful in haste or do something that’s completely out of character, everyone does something unintentionally hurtful to other people once in a while. So what do you do when you’ve hurt someone?
- Forgive yourself. Understand that NO ONE is perfect, and God knows this. The Bible says: “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23.) Do your best to live a righteous life, but don’t beat yourself up too much when you fall short. We’ve all fallen short at one time or another, and it’s not a pleasant place to be, but remember that God still loves you!
- Ask God to forgive you. God knows that we’re imperfect, but He loves us so much that He sent Jesus so that we might be justified through Him. God knows your heart and He’ll forgive you for your actions. Don’t ever think that you’ve done something so bad that God won’t forgive you. In contrast, God loves you and WANTS to forgive you. Did you know that God loves you as much as He loves JESUS? Jesus speaks this to The Father:
“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:22-23)
God loves you that much!
- Ask God for help. Ask Him to show you how to better handle similar situations in the future. If you have a habit of saying mean things or gossiping about people, ask Him to help you with that. If you’re struggling with a short temper, ask Him for guidance in that area. If you’re stressed out or are hurting in some way yourself, ask Him for healing. Whatever contributed to you hurting someone else, ask God to show you how to fix that area of your life.
- Try to rectify the situation. This might be kind of hard, but it’s important that you ask the person whom you’ve offended for forgiveness. Depending on how hurt the person is, s/he may not be ready to accept your apology, but that is something that s/he will have to work through. God instructs everyone to forgive one another, and that includes the offended person in your life. If you’ve apologized and tried to make it right, then you’ve done all that you can do. Hopefully s/he will come around, but if s/he doesn’t, then pray about it and move forward. Don’t beat yourself up about the situation, just leave it in God’s hands.
I hope this helps!