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Why You Should Thank the People Who Hurt You

Updated on July 19, 2020
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Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.

Saying "Thank you" is always in order for those who have done something good for you. Saying those two words is an expression of courteous. Most children are taught at a very early age to say, "Thank you," "Please," and "Excuse me." However, some stop saying those statements after they grow up. Those kind words are always appropriate to say no matter how old you get.

Not Easy

It is easy to articulate those mannerisms to those you like and respect. It might not be as easy to say "Thank you" to those who have mistreated you.

No one said it would be easy to do, but thanking those who have hurt you gives you freedom. You might not want to say those words right away because you don't see the value in them. However, years later when you look back over your life, you want to thank those who mistreated you because the hurt caused you to grow, develop, and succeed in ways you otherwise would not have if the mistreatment had not occurred.

"Thank you" to . . .

I say, "Thank you" to those who left me when I needed them the most. They were with me when I was at my best, and they could get something from me. They turned their backs on me when I was at my worst and they thought I no longer had anything to offer. To you, I offer my sincere thanks because I learned to depend on God who promised to never leave me nor forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6).

To those who abandoned me, rejected me, and neglected me, I have two words to say: "Thank you!" To you, my thanks are sincere because of you I realized that you were not capable of loving me to the extent I needed to be loved. I was depending on you to love me and care for me when I should have been depending on God who will never love me less than He did when He created me in His own image (Genesis 1:27).

"Thank you" to . . .

To those who criticized me, thank you. I learned a lot about myself and about you. I learned that being criticized helped me to succeed. Because you criticized me so fervently, it forced me to take inventory of my own life and make positive and wise decisions. For that, I thank you.

To those who didn't believe in me, thank you. I learned from you to be motivated to do those things you said I wasn't capable of doing. I learned that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

"Thank you" to . . .

To those who hurt me, crushed me, and told me I was worthless, thank you. You taught me a great deal from those negative comments. They helped me to evaluate myself to live my own truth. I realized it is not what you say about me that matters. Rather, it is what I think about myself. More importantly, God knows the true me. After all, I am the apple of His eye, according to Psalm 17:8.

"Thank You" to Individuals

So far, I have thanked groups of people. Now I want to take the time to thank individuals who tried their best to break me.

  • To the person who stood me up at the altar, know that it definitely was the worst day of my life at the time. Today, I want to thank you because had we gotten married, the rest of my life would have been terrible. I would have had to deal with a negative life along with you that includes alcohol, drugs, and jail time. Thank you for not dragging me into that mess of a life that you have.
  • To my high school guidance counselor who would not recommend me for a scholarship to go to college, I thank you. You suggested that I learn a trade or go into the military. Instead, I was forced to take a gap year to work and save money to go to college, but I was determined to do so. Now, I have three graduate degrees and doing what I was born to do (Jeremiah 1:5).
  • To a former pastor and his wife, I say thanks to both of you for keeping me out of seminary three years after I was admitted. I am absolutely sure the call came from God, but you challenged me and asked, "Aren't we teaching you enough? Why would you want to go over there to that cemetery?" I delayed going out of respect for your counsel which turned out to be unwise. I learned how to humble myself and to rely on Galatians 6:9 which became the basis for my initial sermon which was "In Due Season." You kept me out of seminary for three years, but God saw fit for me to go after all. I have been a preacher, Bible teacher, and seminary professor now for more than five decades. Thank you for the delay. It made me appreciate my studies even more.

To those who were not mentioned, you know who you are. To you, I say...

Is there someone you would like to thank for treating you wrong?

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