Summary: Write this down… IT’S EASY FOR HURTING PEOPLE TO HURT PEOPLE
HURTING PEOPLE HURTING PEOPLE
Maybe you think that is a mistake… Nope!
Today, as we look at our Faith Family Tree, we are going to be looking at Joseph.
Listen: We are going to take this very familiar story and look at it in a new way, to try to learn something new.
Hopefully it is a way you never looked at it, I know I never saw it this way.
If someone were to ask you to finish this sentence, how would you do it?
The story of Joseph is a story of……what?
A special coat, a scorned woman’s wrath, jealous brothers, WHAT?
It could be any of those, and they would all make good sermons.
HOWEVER… I would finish that sentence this way…
The story of Joseph is a story of……Hurting People Hurting People?
Write this down… IT’S EASY FOR HURTING PEOPLE TO HURT PEOPLE
If you go through this whole story, what you see… over and over, is…
Hurting people hurting people…
people who are hurting are hurting other people… because they are hurting.
It is one of the most natural thing for humans to do… when we are hurt, we want to hurt back… strike back to hurt the person who hurt us
Eye for an eye
When those who were hurt by others, react out of their pain (even from events that happened long ago) they potentially create more pain. It’s a vicious cycle of deception—one which can grow rapidly, thus creating MORE hurting people who hurt people.
One of Adam's descendants, named Lamech, is a perfect example. He said to his wives, Adah and Zillah, “Wives of Lamech, listen to my speech! For I have killed a man for wounding me, even a young man for hurting me" (Genesis 4:23). End of story.
We don't know anything else. We don’t know if he was young or old, good or bad, rich or poor. All we know is… someone hurt him… and he hurt them.
Natural human nature kicked in… hurt for hurt!
Let’s look at the story of Joseph and see hurting people hurting people.
JACOB – he was hurt by his father’s rejection. His father showed open favoritism for Esau. Jacob was forced to play second fiddle.
IT SCARRED HIM FOR LIFE… DEEP, DEEP HURT
Then, Jacob, who you would think would know better, did exactly the same thing.
He showed open favoritism for one wife and for her children. The other wife and handmaidens were forced to play second-fiddle.
THEY WERE HURT… and they hated the one who hurt them… and they wanted to HURT BACK!!!
They hated Jacob!!! That is one of the reasons they wanted to kill Joseph… to hurt Jacob.
Another thing that is true about hurting people… sometimes they are unable to hurt the one who hurt them, so they seek to hurt someone else.
They were really acting out of hatred for Jacob… for the way he slighted their mothers. They had grown up watching their mothers treated like sloppy-seconds. They hated Jacob before Joseph was born. When he was born, they transferred their hate to him.
Another thing hurting people do is… they interpret everything they see or hear through a filter of pain and hurt.
Every time Jacob would say something good about Joseph or give him a gift, his brothers heard the words “I hate you” and saw Joseph’s gift as robbing them.
We don’t know that Jacob did not give gifts to the brothers, or that he did not praise them.
But they were hurt and it affected what they saw and heard.
Their hurt made it difficult for them to see or hear the truth.
You may know people like this. This may even be your problem. Perhaps you too have developed a filter, a lens of hurt that affects how you see life.
It is not natural for anyone to be a murderer, especially for brothers to kill each other.
That is why it is so surprising to read Genesis 37:19, 20…“Here comes that dreamer" they shouted. ‘“Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dream”.
This degree of hatred and this type of situation had to brew over a long time and involve a lot of hurts.
But the actions of the brothers make more sense when you remember that Hurt people often erupt with inappropriate emotion because particular words, actions, or circumstances “touch” and “trigger” past wounded-ness.
I have been in situations with people in which there was a gross overreaction to a word I spoke or an action that was taken. Although I was shocked and thought this reaction came “out of left field” it was really the person responding to an accumulation of years of hurt and pain that could not help but spill over in various situations.