How To Love People That Hurt You

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There is something really special about a human who has a deep relationship with Jesus.

I want to be this type of Christian in a tired, hurting world. Don’t you?


My pastor often says “Hurting people hurt people.”

That’s such a powerful truth. Our hurts often get in the way of becoming the special person God created us to be.

Unresolved hurts create barriers to having a deep relationship with Jesus and others.

We were created for a deep, intimate relationship with our Savior.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Life is hard.

Often we stuff our hurts deep into our souls. Instead of giving our pain over to Jesus, we ignore it to a point that it either explodes or springs forth into bitterness and anger. Either way it’s not a pretty picture.

We can easily forget our identity in Jesus when we overflow with pain.


What hurts are you carrying around today? Our souls often ache from the unkind words and actions of others.  Our hurts weigh us down, but Jesus can pick us back up.

Hurting people hurt people, but Jesus shows us how to love people that hurt us. Click To Tweet

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11: 28

No one is perfect. People will cause harm to us in this life. We will hurt others.  That’s what happens when imperfect humans do life with other imperfect humans.

We have a choice to make when the hurt comes.

Will we let it reach the doorway to our souls? Or do we release our pain and forgive those who harm us?

We can choose to lean on Jesus to help get us through the hard stuff?

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” Luke 17:3-4


My circle of family and friends includes someone who falls under the category of “hurting people hurt people.”

They make choices daily to push people away by saying mean and hurtful things. They often spread lies, that deep down, I think they know to be false, but somehow they’ve been thinking them for so long, their mind is convinced these lies are truth.

Sometimes I find myself believing their lies. I also tend to take on their sin as my own, believing that somehow it’s my fault they acted in such a sinful way.

Those are outrageous lies from the enemy, of course. I don’t have that much power!

We aren’t responsible for other people’s choices.

Did you catch that part? We are NOT responsible for someone else’s poor choices. Don’t let someone convince you otherwise.

But we do need to own our actions/reactions, along with the consequences that follow. That part is on us.

We have control over how we choose to treat the people that harm us. And it’s really HARD to exercise control in situations that often feel out of control.

That’s why we need Jesus!


  1. Pray for those that harm you. Matthew 5:44
  2. Protect your heart. Proverbs 4:23
  3. Let forgiveness breathe life into your hurting soul. Colossians 3:13, Ephesians 4:32, Luke 6:37
  4. Create healthy boundaries. Galatians 6:5, Romans 6:23

It’s hard to love people that CHOOSE to hurt you.

But it is possible.

Do you have healthy boundaries in place with family and loved ones? I believe God wants us to put up healthy boundaries and spiritual walls of protection around us.

Boundaries give life to our souls and cause us to lean on Jesus in the tough times. There is so much freedom when we release other people’s actions to the Lord and rest in our Savior and His perfect will and grace. When we take care of our own issues, and let God do the work with the other person.

“Own your own stuff, just don’t own other people’s stuff,” as my pastor friend would say.

4 ways to love people who hurt you

Drawing closer to the Lord in our pain is such a critical part of spiritual growth.

In fact, I firmly believe that’s where the real, deep intimate relationship with Jesus occurs. When we can be raw and real with our Savior, the road to healing and intimacy begins. The same can be said for the humans in our life too!

Is there someone who has hurt you? Words that still cut deep? Take some time today and let those hurts go. Give them over to the Lord and let Him carry those burdens for you. It’s a load you were never meant to carry.

If you need help creating some healthy boundaries in your relationship, or just releasing the hurt, check out “Boundaries: Where you end and I begin, by Anne Katherine.  It helps you learn how to set healthy boundaries.

(Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and we will be compensated if you make a purchase by clicking through and using our links. Read our disclosure policy here.)

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27 thoughts on “How To Love People That Hurt You”

  1. Hurting people do hurt people. But healed people help people to heal!!! Love you friend.

  2. Well said Nicki! I especially appreciate the reminder to protect our heart. Often it takes us by such surprise, we forget to guard our hearts in advance. I’ll purpose to do that more often!

    1. Oh it’s such a HARD thing to do, isn’t it? But so worth it in the end, for yourself and the relationship. 🙂

  3. I love your pastor’s wisdom. “Hurting people hurt people”. How true! Loving those who hurt us is the right thing to do, but it often isn’t our first response. Thank you for this timely reminder!

  4. Wonderful post! Seven times seventy is a hard one to swallow. The idea of forgiving someone countless times as they continue to do hurtful things. But that’s exactly what we do to Jesus and we’re forgiven. I love that you brought up boundaries though. I’ve learned the past few years it’s okay to draw boundaries. You can forgive over and over, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a doormat. Thank you for these reminders. 🙂

    1. Yes…doormats bad…Biblical forgiveness is good. It isn’t as much about the other person as it is giving us freedom from the harm!

  5. This is gold right here, Nicki –>’We aren’t responsible for other people’s choices, but we do need to own our actions/reactions, along with the consequences that follow. ‘

    We can love well, but we can do it with limits and wisdom.

    What a super post!

    1. Dana

      Such a wonderful, thought provoking, praiseworthy post. It is always important to own your part. That is what helps build character, and faith. Thank you so much for sharing this post.

      1. Thanks for your kind words. It is HARD to own our own parts, isn’t it? But that’s why we need Jesus so desperately in this crazy life. xoxo

  6. I love the balance you present of loving/praying for them, and setting boundaries to protect yourself. Perfect!

    1. Thanks! It really is a balancing act, isn’t it? Can be so exhausting unless we can rest in Jesus and lean into that peace that transcends all understanding. 🙂

  7. This was so good, Nicki! It’s so true…hurting people hurt people. Such powerful truths here!

    1. Thanks friend. I believe we have all been guilty of being the hurting party in a situation too. So thankful for forgiveness and boundaries. 🙂

  8. I enjoyed this post and your statement about having boundaries which includes guarding our souls. Excellent!

  9. Great wisdom in this post…and very timely at this season (unfortunately). After prayer, I too think that guarding our hearts is the next best step. We can best love the hurtful with boundaries already in place. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yes, it is a hard thing to do, but so good for all sides involved. Praying you have peace and a guarded heart moving forward and can rest in HIM and HIS love for YOU! xoxo

  10. This is absolutely perfect, especially around the holidays! Thanks for sharing these Godly truths to apply to our relationship and day to day life. I am still trying to figure out the boundaries part so this was confirmation for me!

    1. Figuring out boundaries is hard! If you haven’t read the book I mentioned, give it a look, it helps SO MUCH! 🙂 xoxo

  11. Rebecca Jones

    Your heart has to rest to have peace, and Phillipians 4:7 works better for me, I just couldn’t guard my own well enough.

  12. This is such an important topic, Nicki. I think you’ve outlined 4 great steps: pray, protect your heart, forgive, and set boundaries.

  13. Dealing with our hurts so we don’t hurt others is so important. This is a great topic I am trying to get better at.

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