In all of my years upon this earth, I have come to learn a few things on matters of the heart. Today I am going to discuss hurt.
It may seem like a very broad topic, but hurt, when it comes to matters of the heart is like a double-sided coin. You just can’t win.
If you have been living for longer than 5 years upon this earth, which I suspect that you have, if you are reading this, you have either hurt someone else or have been hurt by someone.
Life is a mixture of sunshine and rain, tear drops and laughter, pleasure and pain. Just remember, there was never a cloud that the sun couldn’t shine through. ~Unknown
I set this quote here because I am going to talk about this topic of hurt and it is no easy feat. However, I think it is important to remember that it won’t last forever, no matter which side of the equation you are on.
Alright…now let’s get into it.
When it comes to this heart thing it is either hurt or be hurt…wait! Let me explain.
I am not saying this as a thing that should be done; you either hurt someone else or you get hurt.
Nor am I saying that you have to make a choice, right now, about which person you should be.
I am saying this as an observation; I want you to think on this, as I explain.
Throughout the duration of a having a personal relationship with anyone upon this earth, there will come a time where either you or the other person will become offended. This is inevitable. Even Jesus said that it would happen. “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!” Luke 17:1
Did you catch that?
He said that it is impossible that no offenses should come, so the first position that I would like to deal with is the one whom the offense has come to.
The One Who is Hurt
Hurt…hurt comes. It comes in different fashions and forms. It can look many different ways and be very unexpected. There are even times when you can see it coming and attempt to protect yourself, but somehow, it still makes its way to your heart.
If you have ever been hurt, you know that there is a blow to the heart that reminds you that you are more that flesh and bone. I say this because it is not a physical pain that we feel when we are hurt, but instead it is one that goes beyond the physical realm and hits our emotions.
When you are hurt, you can feel like you have done something wrong; you could feel rejected, confused, and even angered by the pain that someone else has caused you.
Yet, in the midst of all that you are experiencing you have a choice to make.
What are you going to do?
Various choices can begin to come to your mind. While some options may involve retaliation, I urge you not to make those choices.
Yes, I understand that there is only so much that a heart can take and you may feel that you have taken enough, but let me tell you, there is nothing that you will ever do that will not produce some sort of fruit, whether good or bad, that you will not have to eat some day. You will reap what you sow.
Do you want the fruit of hurting another in retaliation?
Hopefully you answered wisely and said no.
So what is it that you are supposed to do? Nothing?
Now I am not suggesting that you do nothing. Instead I am suggesting that you not be quick to anger or quick to act; Don’t be quick to speak either, for that matter. (Ecclesiastics 7:9; James 1:19)
Take a moment, whether in a heated discussion or in the privacy of your own thoughts, to take wise Counsel with God. He is near to you, if you draw near to Him, in any moment that you desire and He will give you wisdom on how to act. (James 4:8; James 1:5)
Once you have taken a moment, realize that your actions are very important from here on out. We teach people how to treat us, by how we allow them to treat us and by how we treat others.
If a person has hurt you, it is imperative that you first realize the importance of setting some boundaries.
What has this person said or done, or the lack there of, that has caused you to be hurt.
*STOP!!! YOU ARE NOT MAKING YOURSELF PROMISES AT THIS POINT!* Don’t say things like I will never allow you to hurt me in that way again.
Making yourself promises is not what I am encouraging you to do.
What I am encouraging you to do is to set up some boundaries.
Let’s pause for a moment to get a visual…
Two neighbors live with open fields. They are friends and they often travel to one another’s houses for fun, festivities, and personal conversation. Crossing the property line has never been a problem. However, both of these families have dogs. When the families cross the property line the dogs have gone with them, in the past. Yet on occasion, when there friends are not going to one another’s houses, the dogs cross the boundary line anyway. One family has a garden in the back yard. The other family has a family play set and activities set up in their back yard. When the neighbor’s dog crosses the property line, it often leave its mark. It goes to the bathroom, rummages through the garden, or bites & scratches up the family play set. Both families have noticed the problem. Without allowing the emotions of being upset to get to them, they simply decide that there is a need for a fence to be placed between the two homes. The dogs have no ill intent, they are just being dogs. Yet there is a need to set a boundary for the dogs, so that each yard can remain as the families would like it to. Each family takes the necessary steps to set this up as they, each, see necessary. Once the fence is set up, the dogs remain where the owners have left them, the yards remain intact, and the families continue to grow in their relationship together.
Getting an understanding
Did you get the visual? I hope so…
Did you get what you need to do? I hope so…
You need to decide what the fence is that will allow you to keep your property in tact.
Now, fences are not walls. They are fences that simply say to other people, this is my property and I would like you to respect my property line. Your dogs are not allowed to go rummaging in my yard; nor can they tear up my family play set.
This is not an easy task, but it is one that needs to be done in order for you to remain unoffended.
The offenses will come, but you have to decide how to handle them.
Making the right choice
There will be many options for you, but I suggest that you take time for yourself, so that you can get a grip of how you are feeling and seek God, to know what you need to do.
Just don’t make any rash decisions. Choose not to accept the offense as it is, but instead to reevaluate why you are hurt and how you can not be offended. There will be times when you can see why you are hurt, but cannot see how it is that you cannot be offended. When this happens, you have another option, just forgive. If you have to, forgive yourself for anything that your feel responsible for. Then forgive the person, so that you can move on.
Forgiving does not mean forgetting. Nor does not forgetting mean always rehashing the painful events. Instead it means that you learn from the experience and see how things can work out better next time.
Side Note: Sometimes God allows us to see the character of people. When you see it, pray, and act in a way that honors God, is wise, and is confirmed in your conscience. Pray for the other person because hurt people hurt people.
It is my prayer for you that in the midst of all that you are feeling and experiencing, you would have peace through seeking God and acting in a way that glorifies Him.
Things happen in life, but remember there is no cloud that the sun cannot shine through…more importantly, there is no situation that God cannot fix. We just have to trust Him in it.