Hurt People Hurt People

In our quest to comprehend the words and actions that negatively impacted us, many have embraced this simple explanation, hurt people hurt people. Armed with this insight we find it easier to offer grace, easier to forgive because it is easier to work through the offence when there is a reason out of our control and the control of the offender. We accept that we will be repeatedly hurt by hurt people. We see their actions as a result of their life experience not a response to us. We find comfort in the fact that we are Christ-like in our grace and not affected by others who have unintentionally hurt us because they are hurt. If hurt people hurt people, then our forgiveness may not be enough.

Hurt people hurt people who then become hurt people.

In our haste to understand and offer grace to those who hurt us, something often goes unaddressed. If hurt people hurt people then those they hurt become hurt people. While we may see ourselves as Christ-like because we are willing to extend grace and offer forgiveness to those that are hurt and therefore caused us hurt, we fail to see the accumulation of hurt we endure. We all want to believe that we are the one who has had the hurt perpetrated against us. On the other hand we find it difficult to believe that we would ever perpetrate the hurt. It is possible that this is true but for how long will it stay that way. If hurt people hurt people, then those of us who are hurt by hurt people become hurt people which means we are likely to hurt people.

We must address the hurt in our lives not just name it in other people.

We were not designed to go through life without feeling. There is no one in this world who has not been hurt. While it is a kind gesture to attempt to explain and graciously forgive the hurts that others have caused us, it is imperative that we address the toll their actions have taken on us. It is possible that our willingness to excuse the hurtful actions or words of the hurting person who hurt us has led to repeated hurt causing us to become one of those hurting people. We need to ask ourselves, if hurt people hurt people, then have I been hurt enough by hurt people to become one of those hurt people?

The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18


  1. Well said truth be told be told offering grace to those who hurt us does not justify their actions, yes we forgive them but we still need to consider what they did in some cases it is wise to distance ourselves from such people especially if they are unrepentant and refuse to change. Otherwise they will hurt you all over again

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      1. It is a delicate balance, loving the person yet keeping one’s distance is not easy especially if they are close to us. The Bible does encourages us to confront a brother if he does wrong to us so there is a place for such as well

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  2. It’s an interesting thought. Like dominoes, that hurt travels from person to person. We want to respond with good, but that hurt mixes itself in with the good and so others feel the effects of it.

    The way I see it, it’s like you were punched. On one hand, you want to be the better person, on the other, you want to punch back. When we don’t address that anger, we don’t retaliate, but we want to get back at them, so we insult the offender by saying we don’t respond to low-lives. In turn, we come to call anyone who even slightly resembles the offender in any way as low-lives.

    I agree, we have to recognise the hurt dealt to us and come to terms with it, so our intention to do good will be nothing but good.

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  3. I am linking this to a post in mid-September. I really liked it and learned from it, but my post comes from a different angle. If you say you forgave and then you run into the person who hurt you, does the remembered hurt return? My results in many cases are still a work in progress.

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