Sticks and Stones....

Have you ever been hurt by someone else? I may have never met you, but I think I know the answer to that question! Yes!! We've all been hurt by others!

I still remember the classmate of mine in 7th grade who asked me if I had every heard of Clearasil, and if I hadn't I should look into it!
While that's just a silly example, we've all dealt with hurt on a much more serious level.
The phrase, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" simply isn't true!! We've been insulted, put down, cut off, and emotionally scarred by friends, coworkers, family, and even complete strangers!
It's not a question of if, but rather when we'll be hurt by someone else - that's LIFE!! The issue is what we choose to do with the hurt.
We can either allow it to develop into a root of bitterness that extends to all areas of our life, or we can make a conscious choice to forgive.
Jesus gives a perfect example of forgiveness when He prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing!" (Luke 23:34).
While our hurt doesn't begin to compare to the agony Christ was praying about, the principle is still true. We are responsible for ourselves and our own attitudes. We can't account for the other person's actions. It is our choice to put away bitterness, and live with a forgiving heart.
After all, the Bible repeatedly mentions the dangers of a bitter heart. For instance, James 3:14, 15:

 "But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic."

I don't know about you, but I'm choosing to forgive today!!

Forgiveness doesn't equal trust!! 
Forgiveness is immediate, but trust must be earned!