Conflict is inevitable. As long as we live in relationship with others there will be moments when people hurt our feelings and disregard our thoughts. I am convinced that how we deal with our hurt will greatly impact the degree to which God uses us.
Author, Francis Frangipane wrote, “It is inevitable that, in a world of increasing harshness and cruelty, you will at some point be hurt. But if you fail to react with love and forgiveness, If you retain in your spirit the debt that the offender owes you, That offense will rob your heart of its capacity to love.”
Even though we know that truth, hurt feelings are complicated to deal with aren’t they? Our self-preservation skills are strong. When we’ve been hurt the most natural thing to do is to build a wall around our hearts. Right? Honestly, that’s exactly what Satan wants us to do. He baits us with an offense and once he has us we’re no longer a threat to him. Instead of focusing on how God might want to use us, our focus becomes, the hurt we’ve experienced.
Psalm 31:4, says, “Free me from the trap that is set for me.” How do we get free from the trap of offense? I have found that stepping back from the hurt and asking myself 6 questions helps me shift my focus from my hurt to God’s plan.
6 Questions to Ask Yourself When You’ve Been Hurt:
- What is the truth in this situation? It’s easy if I’m tired or burned out to blow a situation up in my thinking. In reality whatever happened to offend me might not be a big deal. Maybe whoever hurt my feelings simply has a different opinion than mine. By stepping back and asking myself, “What is the truth in this situation?” I can often let the offense go.
- What’s going on in the other person’s life? At times when people hurt my feelings, they might simply be tired or stressed. Maybe they’re facing a personal problem that I know nothing about. Considering what might be going on in their life helps me offer grace and see things from their perspective.
- Is God teaching me humility? God will use any number of tools in my life to help me grow in humility. His goal is to transform me into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. When my feelings have been hurt it’s great to step back and humbly analyze, “What could I have done differently?” Rather than focusing on what the other person did wrong, I consider my weaknesses.
- Do I need to lay down my expectations? Expectations can get us in trouble. We may subconsciously or consciously have expectations for others that they can’t fill. By asking myself, “Do I need to lay down my expectations?” I am reminded that it’s not right of me to expect others to live up to dreams I have for them.
- Is this triggering me? At times, I realize with a little reflection that the reason I have hurt feelings is because the situation reminds me of something in my past. Once I understand that truth I can spend some time with God and ask Him to finish healing any unresolved pain.
- Am I willing to let it go? The most important question I ask myself is, “Am I willing to forgive and let this go?” Bitterness is the monument we build as a remembrance to our pain. The bottom line is that bitterness is wrong. The writer of Hebrews warns us not to allow any bitterness to grow in our hearts. (Hebrews 12:15). Bitterness blocks the flow of God’s goodness in our lives.
Friend, this week, you might have your feelings hurt at some point. If you do, create space to do an internal check. Ask yourself these 6 questions and see if they don’t help you to let it go. As always, I’d love to hear from you. Which question resonates with your heart the most? Leave a comment.