My feelings were hurt the other day. Yes, it was a petty thing that upset me, but I was momentarily wounded none-the-less. Right away, Satan started in with the lies he likes to use with me in similar situations.
“See. You don’t really have any friends.”
“No one really likes you.”
“It’s because you aren’t friendly.”
“Why do you even bother?”
All these thoughts flooded my mind within about 2.5 seconds of the alleged offense.
Truth be told, Satan has been pulling this particular trick with me for so long, I don’t think he actually has to do anything anymore; I do it to myself. I start listing the lies for him. I am doing Satan’s job.
And honestly, that isn’t something I want to do.
So this time, before I wallowed in it and let it fester and infect my entire day, I stopped myself. First, I told myself I was likely reading into the situation things that were not true. Nothing was done purposefully.
I remind my children of this constantly when they come to me bringing the latest complaint about who broke a beloved toy or who threw away a favorite drawing or who made a mean face at whom. I typically ask them not to assume the worst in others.
“Don’t immediately think your sister did that on purpose…”
I bet I’ve said that to my son a trillion times if I’ve said it once.
If the lesson is good enough for them, and I truly believe it has merit, then it is good enough for me, as well. So, I told myself that this time. “Don’t automatically assume this was meant to hurt you. More than likely it has nothing to do with you at all.”
Taking into account that there were likely no cruel intentions involved did slow my racing heart, but my flesh still wanted a pity party.
I wanted to text my husband or call my mom or my sister. I needed someone to be outraged and demand, “How dare they!” I just wanted someone on my side. That would make me feel better.
However, I thought back to a graphic I saw on Facebook not two weeks ago. It explained the very situation I was facing at the moment. It showed two paths I could take in response to the supposed transgression against me: God’s way or the world’s way. I knew I had to choose God’s way.
I didn’t want to. I wanted to run, headlong, down the slippery slope of the left side. I wanted to “tell people all about it.” That would be delicious! That would satisfy my flesh and give me the pity I wanted so badly. But I knew, looking at that right column, that this was the way to go; it was God’s way, and it was the best way.
A better perspective was needed. Peace was what my soul desired even more than pity. I just needed to be with God for a little while.
Instead of clutching my phone and feverishly blabbing how upset I was, I clung to my Bible.
“Lord, please show me what to do. My feelings are hurt. I feel like I don’t have any friends. What do I do?” I asked aloud.
This was part of my answer:
Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Colossians 3:13 – Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
James 1:19 – Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.
Hebrews 12:15 – See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.
Colossians 3:17 – And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks go God the Father through him.
There were other messages that I found, too. There were plenty of verses about how much God loves me, that He created me in His image, that He has a purpose for my life, that He will fight for me and take care of me, that He will never leave me, and on and on.
Interestingly enough, what this became was a snippet of time alone with God. As I was reading through the different verses I found, I began to praise Him and worship Him.
When you read about how much He loves you, you can’t help but do so!
Before I knew it, what had hurt my feelings just a few minutes prior was the furthest thought from my mind. I wasn’t upset at the people involved. Satan was no longer telling me I was unlikable. God and I were having a peaceful praise party with Him as the focus.
Gone was my desire to blubber to my sister and hope she would jump on the sinking ship with me. I was just thankful. My joy was back because I had chosen to reclaim it by focusing on God and what He would want me to do in the situation rather than what I felt like doing.
I have to stop here and say that I don’t choose this path every time. I don’t always choose joy. Sometimes, I choose to flop right on down in that slimy, sticky self-pity filth hole and throw a little tantrum for a while. Just get covered head-to-toe in that muck. Sometimes, I choose to let whatever happened ruin my whole day. Sometimes I tell someone what upset me. I relive the circumstances over and over, becoming more insulted each time I rehash the incident.
And it feels fabulously…horrible. It just feels horrible. It feels like my heart is all covered in yellow pus, and I am suffocating.
It truly isn’t what God wants for me or for anyone in that situation – especially when the insult probably wasn’t legitimate at the outset (Legitimate offenses warrant a totally different blog post…for another day).
The next time someone steps on my toes, I challenge myself to talk to God about it.
The next time someone steps on your toes, I challenge you to talk to God about it.
First, remind yourself not to jump to conclusions; don’t immediately assume this was meant on purpose to hurt you. Don’t immediately assume the worst.
Then, find your Bible. Sit down and open it on your lap (or pull up your Bible app on your phone, but no texting or calling people to talk about what happened 🙂 ) Look up some of the verses listed above or find your own verses about dealing with hurt feelings or wrongs from others.
Next, ask God what to do. Tell Him you’re hurting – that something happened that hurt your feelings – and ask Him what to do.
Sit quietly and wait to hear what He has to say.
I’ll try to do the same.
What do you typically do in response to someone hurting your feelings? What is the outcome of the situation? Have you learned any positive or Christ-like ways to deal with such offenses? Please share those here.