How Do You Process Someone Else’s Sin?

Have you experienced this scenario or something similar?

Person “XX” commits sin 1 and it offends and hurts you greatly.

Your head and heart are reeling from their sin that’s causing pain. You try to explain how wrong it is.

XX tries to somewhat understand but they don’t think it’s a sin so they don’t feel your pain. You again try to explain.

You see that their life/spiritual/moral compass is different than yours.

You are still upset over sin 1 and haven’t had the time you need to process it.

XX doesn’t truly understand your pain, because of different moral compasses, so they start “judging” your “reaction” to their sin 1.

XX feels a need to “defend” their sin. They start adding new sins (blame, anger, insensitivity/lack of empathy, vindictiveness, dismissiveness, etc) because their feelings kick in such as fear, shame, guilt, inadequacy, anger, self absorption…whatever is running through them.

Now there are 2 people, you and them, dealing with their own feelings, and it escalates into you both thinking the other person is a monster. You are convinced they are the worst human being on earth.

You haven’t had time to process sin 1 but suddenly, you need to process 5 new sins thrown your way.

What do you do? HOW DO YOU PROCESS SIN? Every human being on this earth is sinful.

If you’re a Christian, you know the ultimate answers are things like “seek to understand, versus understood,” or “forgive, 70 x 7,” or “do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also,” or “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger,” or “confessing your sin of anger to Jesus.”

But, we all need to “process” pain, because we all go through it. The way the world looks, people are processing other’s sins in very wrong ways…aka violence…harming each other, whether in words or actions.

I do not believe there is anyone that can “get over it” without the processing time necessary and the greater the offender’s sin, the more time is needed. Do you agree?

If you care to share, I’m looking for real life experience answers, not text book. What do you do personally, after you have just been offended by another human being?

You may ultimately choose understanding or forgiveness at the end, but while you are processing your pain, what do you do? Things like remove myself from the offender to think, go kick rocks in the desert, stuff it down and pretend I’m ok, talk to my Aunt Hattie, cry and cry, stay in bed all day, lash out and scream at the offender until I’m blue in the face, blast my music, go for long walks and tell God all about my hurts, ask someone else to pray for me because I can’t right now, start paying the offender back immediately (“You think you are hurt now, but I’ll show you real pain”), cut them off from seeing the grandkids, go shopping, hit the bottle or drugs, journal, tell my dog about it.

I will share what I think is helping me, in the comments today also. Thank you in advance for your sincere comments and being real. We’re all in this messy sinful world together. If you need prayer, let me know that too. I do.

29 thoughts on “How Do You Process Someone Else’s Sin?

  1. This article really spoke to me, I’ve been dealing with this with a loved one for a long time. They profess to be Christian but like you say their moral compass is off and blames everyone around them for the consequences of their actions. I’ve chosen just lately to distance myself from the drama and pain for my own mental health. I can still love them and pray for them but from a safe distance.

    Like

  2. If someone offends me, I distance myself from them for a while. It helps me process without letting anger or hurt drive everything I do. I take it to God repeatedly as I process and I also talk to my hubby. Taking it to God is very important, helps me lay it all at his feet and let go over time. And eventually reach a place of not being too bothered that they did not feel sorry that they hurt me. And also helps me extends grace to them as each of us are on a journey albeit different stages.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you.. Do you initially explain why their action or words are wrong or hurtful? Or immediately distance yourself and if so, do you explain why you are distancing yourself?

      Like

      1. Usually I do not Marla. And that is because they are not very bothered by what they did. Sometimes they just want to ignore their actions and go on as if nothing happened. People who are genuinely sensitive and care that they have hurt someone usually are open to speaking about it and that is also only after I have initially distanced myself without talking to them about it. But mostly my experience has been with those who do not acknowledge their wrong and so I do not speak or explain.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi There Marlagro. Your posts are always great and I love reading them. For me it is very timely as I have been having some very difficult family issues over the last few years. The last two Christmas Holidays have been very difficult. While I would agree that time and distance does help I have decided that ending my relationship with some members of my family was best. I hold no bitterness toward them and I do not wish them harm but I know that I cannot change them. When I put boundaries in place to save the relationships, they continued to cross them. I will give you just one example. I had to speak to my sister because of my mothers health just before Christmas. Now she decided, that instead of saying she was sorry for some nasty things that her and the rest of our family had done she would give me a gift for Christmas this year. The catch is she did not tell me, no did she give it to me directly. She dropped it off at my aunt’s where she knew I would be for Christmas Dinner. Now my mother knew about all this as well. I was very upset and took the gift back to my mother’s house, and said I would not accept it. At which point, my mother said it was a slap in the face. I bit my tongue because there were a lot of nasty things I could have said about having being slapped in the face over the last two years by them. I did not say a word. My sister and I were texting and she could have very easily told me she had a gift but she chose not to do that. She chose to take it and make it well know that she was giving me a gift and my mother made it well know that I did not take it. You see if my sister was really genuine she would have given that gift to me directly. But she had to be manipulative about it. It was telling everyone else “Look how good I am, I am trying so hard to be good and look what that mean sister of mine does!” Even my own mother called me evil!

    I was talking to some good friends of mine about this from a Biblical perspective. Jacob deceived his brother and send a gift to help make up for it but he did not drop it off with one of his servants and then say OH well that is that, it’s all good now! Jacob, even though he might have been scared went and gave Esau the gift and told his brother he was sorry!

    That is the difference. There will never be any “I’m sorry” from my family! I will take some of the responsibly for that because for too long I let them off the hook and finally I just said,”No” I am not going to continue to let you do the things you are doing. I asked for an apology. Never got it. Just got more of the same. A gift delivered to my aunt is not an apology! If I would have accepted that gift with no real genuine apology my sister would have though “Oh well things are just like they use to be.” AND, she would have been given the green light to treat me like she used to as well!

    So I withdrew myself from them. And just because my mother is old and sick, she does not get a free pass either. Far too many people let elderly people do and say whatever they want even if it’s mean and cruel. I don’t stress my mother unnecessarily but I will call her on things if she is being mean and insulting. I just don’t let her do that to me anymore. Just because you are old it does not mean you don’t know how to behave in a good manner.

    Well that is my story and what I did. Not sure if its helpful but it is what it is. GOD BLESS.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your story. And reading my stories. It sounds like you’ve been hurt so much. I’m sorry. I relate. So much of the time, the older I get, I feel like I have life’s answers, but some like this, still remain a mystery. I’m glad I did this particular blog bc it gives people a chance to share experiences. And help each other possibly. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt! I asked God for help, to show me when I was now crossing the line by stewing on the offense, getting bitter, letting it consume my every waking moment. And He showed up! Now the Spirit makes me aware that I am about to go there again, and I do a sniper shot prayer to heaven-“Jesus help!” Or sometimes, “Jesus” is all I can do! Then I repent of that sin or coming close to sinning. The I can realign my thinking and switch to what is right, bright and full of light. (And all the other things to think about in Philippians 4) Some days are harder than others, but God always shows up! And while it feels slow sometimes, I can look back and see I have made some progress.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You know what I like is that you did not mention once about how the offending person should change, only how you handle offenses. The hurts inflicted on you by another, are dealt with by you and God. Do you try to explain when the offender hurts you? Do you give yourself time to heal from the hurt, if it’s big? How so?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have tried to explain to the offender how they have hurt me, and pretty much a waste of breath! Kind of like throwing pearls before swine. They just trample them and turn around and attack you. So now with God’s help I try not to react, but to respond. Ans in responding, that’s more between me and God and not the offender. I do give myself time to heal. I listen to some of my church’s podcasts, listen to worship music, read my Bible and just separate myself from the offender. Sometimes the offender is not happy with my walking away, and I say I just need some time. They might continue to lecture and offend, but I still leave the room. If I don’t have my foam earplugs with, I put my fingers in my ears so I don’t have to listen to the negative. Once when I did not respond, they came into the room and caught my eye. I made a big show of pulling the earplugs out, which they took offense at. Not even taking the time to think why I would have put in earplugs in the first place. Oh well, I’ll just keep being the best me I can be every day with God’s help, and leave them to their own choices. I’ve come to realize that I cannot change another person, only the Holy Spirit can. And I pray!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I suppose it depends on the gravity of the sin. Some small things are easy to forgive, other things feel deeper and full of consequence. It’s hard to say what I would do. What I would LIKE to do is be gracious and forgiving… but is that what I would ACTUALLY do? Mhm.

    Like

  6. I have finally started just saying right to them, “I forgive you, in Jesus’ name.” That usually stops the drama. We usually can not forgive automatically on our own, but with the power of God, we sure can. I have found it is a growth that needs to happen in me, not in them. Growing is hard. You have a little shell that you have to break out of, and it isn’t always easy, but it is always right. In the end, we draw closer to God through the trials. I love you, Marla. ❤️

    Like

    1. That’s amazing. You shared your past with me when we first met online and you’ve had some of the hardest trials I’ve ever heard of. And yet you stand, able to say all this. No way could you being saying any of this, without the power of God. It makes me wonder if our trials are extreme blessings in disguise?

      Hearing everyone, gives me strength and clarity. God sent me some powerful allies. I love you too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Blessings in disguise? I like that. They are another opportunity for God to show His power through our submitted lives. Because it takes a lot to be silent in the actual moment of trial, that’s for sure! You are the sweetest! May the Lord continue to pour His blessings upon you, In Jesus’ name.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Here’s what I do.  Initially, try explaining how deeply this offense hurt me, but then realize that it doesn’t really matter to them because it’s not a big deal to them.  Should it be a big deal?  If I’m not a drama queen where everything hurts me, then yes, it should be a big deal.  It’s called love.  But if they just don’t think that way, am I entitled to deal with their offense and their lack of love in whatever healthy way I choose?  Yes is my answer. 

     My ways to process are reading my favorite scriptures.  Visiting friends to not think about my pain.  Going to church.  Trying to pray for the offender but it seems I’m Initially too hurt or angry so I ask a close friend to pray for the offender and myself.  Take long walks and try to tell Jesus all my hurts but sometimes I’m too jumbled to even have a good conversation.  Try to be as kind as possible to the offender but normally,  I just need to be silent and not near them.  Write this blog because it helps to know others relate, how others deal with the topic and learn from each other’s experiences.  Oh and I was pushed too far and yelled in the bakery aisle of a grocery store to stop dismissing me. 

    I’m grateful and enjoying everyone’s thoughts so thank you!

    My friend wrote this and it also helped a lot:

    “I just say this to God.  Lord, let me think and feel about this, the way you want me to think and feel.  Let the offender think and feel what you want them to think and feel about this also. I give it to you to have us behave in our actions at this moment, how YOU want us to.  Then I let it be.”

    I hope with my remaining years, I can develop this deepest level of trust.  Some of you already have.  As one friend put it, “it takes a long time, going through the fire and we get stronger.  You will be able to help others.  At least when we are in the fire, Jesus is there with us.”   ❤

    Like

  8. Hard to hit the “Like” button on this, but by that I mean that I appreciate your pain and need for process. Time, of course, does NOT heal all wounds. Sometimes it makes them fester and become worse.
    “Why let hypocritical Christians keep you from a real relationship with God? Just because they may/may not have what’s real with Jesus shouldn’t keep you from having what’s real with Jesus.” (Steve Elliott)
    ❤️&🙏, c.a.

    Like

    1. Hi C.A. Congratulations, you are the first gentleman to comment! 🙂🥰🙂 I am having troubles with WordPress technology presently so will read your link later. I need to focus on what is noble and technology is a sore spot. 😫

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I want to read others blogs today, and can’t get to yours. I click on my likes of my post and then click on the person’s link. Yours isn’t linking to your site. 😟

    Like

  10. Hi Marla! Great questions posed here, sparking wonderful discussion. For me, it depends who offends me. The closer the relationship, the more painful it is, right? If I’ve committed to the person (spouse, kids, boss, etc) I can’t just walk away for good. And I have an embarrassing quirk- anger, hurt, confusion, frustration- all of it makes me cry. Maybe ok with my family, not ok at work! So I do usually give myself a minute before I say anything! But I like your pattern of telling the offender what hurt you. I had a situation the other day with my husband, where I was deeply hurt and left the room, only to find out later I’d misunderstood. A quick conversation would have saved me a lot of grief.
    But, here is what I want to add to what everyone else has written. I got this nugget from a book many years ago. Proverbs 25:21-22 “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head and the Lord will reward you.” This book gave a practical challenge- when someone offends you, don’t just give them a pass. Go out of your way to bless them! And it isn’t so you can cause them burning pain- that is Gods territory. It is so God will bless you. You regain your sense of dignity.
    I will never forget the first chance I had to put this into practice. I needed to lose some weight. I wanted to jog on a regular basis. My hubby didn’t want me doing that alone because our schedule meant getting up to do so while it was still dark and he didn’t think it was safe. He committed to go with me. But on the very first day, after I got up and dressed, he wouldn’t get up. He said he was too tired. He told me to just go. It might not seem like a big deal now, but I was hurt that he would go back on his word and even more hurt that he would send me somewhere he said was dangerous in exchange for an extra hour of sleep. I got a good run because I had angry energy. But I remembered what I’d read in that book and God started challenging me. I needed to find a way to not only cool down and forgive, but bless my husband before we went to work. I went home and baked him fresh muffins. By the time they came out of the oven, my joy had returned. That was God. My husband hadn’t even gotten out of bed yet, so nothing had changed between us, other than my decision to bless him. When he got up and smelled the fresh blueberry muffins, he came out of the room very apologetic. He expected to find a mad me and instead he found a happy me with muffins. He felt awful. God did what He said.
    I’ve had many opportunities to practice this since. It doesn’t always work so quickly. But it always works. God doesn’t make empty promises. People disappoint, God doesn’t. This verse gives us a way to channel our pain constructively, for good. And to fix something between us and another human by looking at God, serving Him, and obeying Him so He can fix what is hurt in us and He also deal with the offender, so we don’t have to.
    Quick caveat: if someone is physically abusing another or something major like that, I would not suggest muffins- that person needs to get away and get help!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s