Summary: Let’s understand three “MUSTS” when handling personal hurt.

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“How to Treat Those who Hurt Me”

Text: Matthew 18:15-17; 21-35

Mark G. Magee

A. All hurt: Everyone has had someone hurt them. Physical, emotional, and verbal abuse, rejection, ignored, fired, abandoned, broken engagements, divorce, gossip, lies, insult, cussed, theft, criticism-- Everyone of us have been hurt. Some more than others.

B. $2,000.00: Between my Sophomore and Junior year in college, I had two options for the summer. Because I was on the college basketball team, I could have worked the Basketball camps at the college and have my tuition paid for the next semester, or I could spend the summer in Florida, living and working for some friends and was promised to receive $3,000.00 cash. I chose to work in Florida for the summer. To make a long story short, at the end of the summer, I only received $1,000 of the $3,000 I was promised. That was a long trip home. I was ripped. I was lied to. I was hurt. To make matters worse, when I got back to school, I realized by not taking the basketball camp position, I lost a starting position on the ball team.

C. Jesus knew hurt. He was rejected by his own people, constantly questioned by the “authorities”, accused of being the Devil, misunderstood by his disciples, betrayed and denied by his friends, mocked, tortured and crucified by his enemies. I think He qualifies as an expert at being hurt.

D. Sermon Series: Today, we begin a new sermon series for the summer that will focus on the life of Christ and his interaction with other people. In the next few weeks, let’s look at different snapshots in the life of Christ. Let’s see Him deal with different people and let’s learn “How to Treat Others.” Philippians 2:5 says, “Your attitude should be the same as Jesus Christ.” Today, let’s learn “How to treat those who hurt me!” Since all of us have experienced personal hurt, or maybe I’m talking to some who are personally experiencing hurt, let’s learn what Jesus expects from us when dealing with people who have hurt us.

E. Today’s message doesn’t come from a specific illustration of Jesus handling being hurt, but this message comes from one of his teachings on the topic. I’ve got to confess that this was a difficult sermon to prepare ... in fact, the more I worked on it the madder I got. I’m so angry with how effective and powerful the devil really is with His tool of bitterness that results from personal hurt.

F. Listen to today’s text...Matthew 18:15-17 (Not on screen).

G. From this text, let’s understand three “MUSTS” when handling personal hurt.....

1. Anticipate it! Jesus on one occasion said, “In this world, you will have trouble!” Life in this sinful world is full of hurt. It’s unavoidable. You will be hurt. One commentator said that the word “If” in verse 15 (“If your brother sins...”) could actually be translated, “When your brother sins.”

A. Peanuts: In one Peanuts comic strip, Lucy demands that Linus change TV channels and threatens him with her fist if he doesn’t. “What makes you think you can walk right in here and take over?” asks Linus. “These five fingers,” says Lucy. “Individually they’re nothing but when I curl them together like this into a single unit, they form a weapon that is terrible to behold.” “Which channel do you want?” asks Linus. Turning away, he looks at his fingers and says, “Why can’t you guys get organized like that?” That’s the kind of world we live in! You will be hurt! B. And realize, more times than not, hurt is unintentional. Especially in the church, people usually don’t set out to purposely hurt one another, but it still happens! And often, they are unaware of it. **

2. Deal with It! Personal hurt has to be dealt with. And how we handle our hurt helps determines the level of our spiritual maturity! The way I see it you have two Biblical options.....

A. Option #1: Overlook it! If you can forgive it on the spot and never let it bother you and never talk about it again. Overlook the fault. Now, This is not the same as ignoring it and pretending it didn’t happen. Nor are we talking about repressing your feelings. It’s more of an effort to “turn the others cheek.” I know one counselor who motto is F.I.D.O– “Forgive it and drive on!” Sometimes the best thing you could do is to hold your tongue, keep your mouth shut and overlook the fault.

1. Jesus said in Matthew 5:38-41, “If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other as well. If someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.” Notice the absence of revenge, no hard feelings, just a pursuit of righteousness.

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Anne Wright

commented on Feb 28, 2008

I really appreciate the way you put this sermon together. It is very clear. I especially loved your boldness. God's Word uncompromised.

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