Upset, Hurt….How Can The Scriptures Help?

G001_Fear - Woman

Hurt? Upset? …..How Can the Scriptures Help?

Have you ever experienced HURT?

Have you ever been UPSET?

I want you to cast your mind back to a situation in which you were upset or felt hurt. Some of you might not have to go back because you are hurting right now.

I am going to add to your burden, because I am going to suggest that maybe you could have avoided being upset and the hurt that you experienced was unnecessary.

Recently, someone shared with me an issue that could have caused us to be upset and even to experience hurt. My response was to invite them to consider some things that might have produced the situation. I had taken those things into consideration and consequently being upset did not even occur to me.

I had a conversation with another individual who indicated that they were taking care not to get caught up in reacting to what could be seen as disrespectful behaviour from a colleague.

With the exception of those who walk under a halo, from time to time something rubs us the wrong way and we get upset and may even experience hurt feelings.

That said, it is equally true that how we process and file incoming information influences how we relate to others and how we respond to events. What it all boils down to is that the only factors that determine what rubs us the wrong way are the images we play in our heads and the words we frame.

What am I saying?

I am suggesting that your thoughts are the only things that determine whether you are upset or hurt.

To use Rohan’s psychology class example:

If an insane person hurls some really terrible insults at you, would you get upset and feel hurt?

Put the same words in the mouth of your least favoured colleague and……

All that has happened is that you processed the events differently. YOU and only YOU decided to smile in one instance and to fly into a rage in the other.

So who caused you to be upset and hurt? YOU. Single-handedly, all by yourself, working alone, with no outside intervention, in your own wisdom YOU took it up on yourself to be upset and experience hurt.

Why we do that to ourselves is hard to understand.

I want to share with you how the Scriptures and a renewed mind can help you to better manage upset and hurt.

  1. Other’s shoes

Matthew 7:12New International Version (NIV)

12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Some of the upset and hurt that we experience can be avoided by making one fundamental adjustment.

The critical change that will make a huge difference in our lives is to “put yourself in the shoes of others”. Before you turn off and think you have been hearing that from childhood, bear with me a little longer.

I am suggesting that you develop the discipline to consistently ponder why the individual did what they did or said what they said BEFORE reacting.

Some of us are far too sensitive and touchy. Our first impulse is to take offence and to feel disrespected. In that state of mind, it is difficult to think objectively and things go downhill from that point.

We all know people with that mentality and relating to them is like walking on eggs. The challenge is that traces of the mindset that leads to that kind of reaction might be more present in us that we realize.

Pause for a while and reflect on some situations in which you have been upset or experienced hurt.

Can you say that you fully explored what could have caused the individual to act the way they did?

Can you say that you treated them the way you would have wanted to be treated?

Give others the benefit of the doubt to reduce upset or hurt.

Our next stop is the role of SELF

  1. Focus on Self

When you think of the hurt you experienced, were you focused on yourself and your needs?

When we focus on ourselves to the exclusion of other considerations, it is easy to find things that are not in sync with where we are mentally. Anything that falls outside of our needs prompts internal conflict which may or may not be expressed.

Supressed conflict often manifests as upset or hurt.

You can reduce the incidence of upset in your life by being more mindful that we need to be inter-dependent.  We have to make sacrifices to support each other.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Matt 16:24

Deny SELF and reduce upset.

  1. Pride

We do not like to accept the role of pride in our lives but we have some explaining to do. Why would we feel disrespected because we were not mentioned by name in a speech and others were?

Why else would Donald Trump throw away the advantage of his Convention Speech to return to his childish tracing because Ted Cruz did not endorse him?

Why would we take umbrage to the fact that we were not consulted in the decision making process or invited to the meeting or function?

In those cases, a haughty self-image has got the better of us.

Reduce instances of being upset by accepting that you might be less important in the scheme of things than you think.

Proverbs 11:2

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

Proverbs 16:18 

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall

Proverbs 16:5

The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.

Ecclesiastes 7:8

The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.

Solomon was pointing out that the natural progression is for healing to take place. Conflicts should move to resolution …not fester and grow into malice.

Increase humility and reduce hurt.

  1. Low self-esteem

We are not happy accepting that we might have low self-esteem. However, it is an issue for some of us.

People who are lacking in self-confidence tend to attach a negative spin to unfolding events. There is a tendency to think that things are not in their favour. The motive of others is questioned and rarely deemed to be in their best interest.

Hurt and upset linked to this mindset can be reduced by spending considerable time in mental visualizing exercises. Picture yourself experiencing positive outcomes. Play mental videos of things going well for you. Time and time again see people being kind to you and giving you the respect that you deserve. Above all, know that you are worthy! Increase self-esteem and reduce upset.

1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

What about Forgiveness?

You notice there is no mention of forgiveness. If there is no offence taken then there is no need for forgiveness.

Are there situations in which there is genuine cause to be upset or to experience hurt?

Yes, but I prefer to pass on some opportunities to be upset.

It gives me peace of mind and enhances my relationships.

Romans 12:18 New International Version (NIV)

18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

I include myself in that. I want to be at peace with myself and others. Taking offence moves me away from that. Even if I do not raise it with others, I will not be at peace internally. I would rather not take offence in the first place.

In closing, I draw your attention to the Mark 12:28-31

28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g]There is no commandment greater than these.”

This has implications for you. Loving God with all your heart, means being obedient to Him. If you are here and you have not followed His plan for rescuing you from sin, you need to fix that before it is eternally too late. God’s system for rescuing you from eternal damnation includes affirming that Jesus is the Son of God and being immersed in water for the removal of your sins.

The other implication of the passage is the command to love your neighbour as yourself.

If you are firmly grounded in Christ and stay true to these commandments you will experience less hurt and find fewer reasons to be upset.

God bless you!

 

 

 

 

1 Corinthians 13: Love

Love

1 Corinthians 13

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.

Love is patient

There is a tendency for us to more readily spot flaws in others than in ourselves.

Matt 7:3

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

One challenge is that having identified the flaws, we want them to be removed quickly. We get upset when the change that we require does not take place immediately. We are increasingly upset when the undesirable behaviour occurs.

There is an important fact that many do not recognize or accept.

In many instances, we are especially frustrated and annoyed at behaviours in others that we have struggled with in our own lives.

This is usually some event or action or behaviour that happened or continues to occur in our lives that we detest.  Our feelings about it are so strong that we want to hit out at it – wherever it appears with a passion.

We project the frustration that we have about ourselves (past or present) unto the offender with increased intensity.

Consequently, it is useful to review those things that bring out your wrath to see if at some stage they were or still are issues for you.

1 Corinthians 13 is reminding us that in the context of the overarching command to love our neighbours, patience is required.

Colossians 3:

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each otherand forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

A charge to you today is the examine ways in which you are impatient. See if in those moments of frustration a feeling of deep and sincere love for the other person is your primary motive.

When love is at the heart of what we do, the level of impatience with others is not as great.

 

Love is kind

One key to letting kindness be an active part of our lives is to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes.

If we were in their position, what would we want?

That mindset has a way of bringing out the best in us.

It is important to remember that being kind is not only about providing money and things.

At the same time, sometimes our kindness should extend to providing for physical needs.

I John 3:

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us, And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

 

Love does not envy

Aristotle (in Rhetoric) defined envy (φθόνος phthonos) “as the pain caused by the good fortune of others”, while Kant defined it as “a reluctance to see our own well-being overshadowed by another’s because the standard we use to see how well off we are is not the intrinsic worth of our own well-being but how it compares with that of others” (in Metaphysics of Morals). Source: Wikipedia

If we go back to wanting for others what we want for ourselves then we will be happy with whatever blessings they have received.

The command to “love your neighbour as yourself” directly opposes any thought of envy.

 

Love does not boast and is not proud

Boasting and pride are linked to our EGO or deceived SELF.

Recall the two main highways that lead to a corrupted way of thinking.

The first one leads us to getting attached to things, people and positions.

The more things we can claim as “mine” the fatter the EGO and the greater the level of deception.

The second highway takes us to a place where we focus on thinking how different we are from others.

The more different we are the bigger the EGO and the more deceived we become.

Christians are called to renew their minds (Romans 12). They are to reject the corrupt way of thinking that is wrapped up in “Mine” and “I am not like that”.

The key is to recognize that we are merely stewards of our material possessions and the positions that we hold. That situation can be dramatically changed without warning.

When we realize that things and positions are not an intrinsic part of who we are, then we deny self the right to boast or to be proud.

Only the insane will boast about a castle on a hill as if it belonged to them when they have no connection at all with it. Be careful how we use “my” and “mine” to impress others and to feel good about ourselves. We really do not own anything in a real sense.

The love of which 1 Corinthians 13 speaks comes from a renewed mind. This mind no longer conforms to the dictates of the EGO – the deceived Self. It does not hang on to things and positions.

 

Love does not dishonour others

Something that is unique – one of its kind – is highly treasured. A normal man who runs 100 meters in 11 seconds will not be widely celebrated. If you are the only one that runs it in 9:59 seconds then respect and adoration for you abounds.

The EGO feeds on adoration and on being celebrated.

If you put these two thoughts together you will recognize why it is important for the EGO to work hard at being different. The more we are just like everybody else the less respect and adoration we can claim.

A well fed EGO – our deceived SELF – actively puts down others in a drive to elevate itself.

Alternatively, it constantly reminds others of things that make them standout so others feel diminished and “less valued.”

Think about the “My father..” verbal contests among young boys or the “Your Momma” insult trade off of adolescents.

The love that comes from a renewed mind is humble. It seeks to relate to others where they are and to respect them.

 

Love is not self-seeking

The scriptures consistently prod us to become “equal opportunity thinkers”.

We should have a mindset that wants the best for not only self but for all others.

Php 2:3  Don’t do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble toward one another, always considering others better than yourselves. (Good News Bible)

2Ti 3:1  Remember that there will be difficult times in the last days. 2 People will be selfish, greedy, boastful, and conceited; they will be insulting, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, and irreligious; 3 they will be unkind, merciless, slanderers, violent, and fierce; they will hate the good; 4 they will be treacherous, reckless, and swollen with pride; they will love pleasure rather than God; 5 they will hold to the outward form of our religion, but reject its real power. Keep away from such people. (Good News Bible)

 

Love is not easily angered

Anger is a melting pot of many ingredients. These include:

An action/event … a stimulus

Personalities

Relationships

Historical events

State of mind

How the event is processed

Implications & Consequences

Circumstances under which event took place – private/public etc.

Mindset

Col 3:12

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 

The Mindset has the power to overwrite the impact of all the other elements. That is why with a renewed mind, we can turn the other cheek.

We cannot overemphasize the importance and value of working on the way we think and getting to the point where we are more Christ-like in our thinking, feelings and actions.

 

Love keeps no record of wrongs

Col 3: 13 Bear with each otherand forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.

The false sense of “ME” that we embrace and protect so vigorously is a major contributor to the difficulty we have in dealing with what we perceive to be the wrongs of others.

The more highly we think of ourselves the greater the chance that someone is going to do or say something that does not fit well with our self image.

That is why some people get the feeling of being disrespected so easily.

Amazingly, people who have low self esteem are also very easily hurt by the actions of others.

The arrogant and conceited personality as well as those that have doubts about their competence and self worth tend to hold on to hurts for a long time.

When you feel good about who you are, the darts that others throw at you tend to bounce off more easily.

Another mindset that promotes unforgiveness is the desire to take revenge and punish the offender.

This is the eye for eye mentality that Christ warns against.

Matt 5: 38

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.

Lev 19:18  Do not take revenge on others or continue to hate them, but love your neighbors as you love yourself. I am the LORD.

Rom 12:

19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;     if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

The love of 1 Corinthians 13 is associated with a transformed and renewed mind.

It is tied to a mind that manifests the fruit of the Spirit:

Gal 5: 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like, I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.

It is clear here that the flesh (our sinful nature) is the source of behaviour that wars against the Spirit.

Mat 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

 

Love always protects

Think about the love that a mother has for her newborn baby and you get the picture of what this means. Nothing more needs to be said here.

 

Love always trusts

Trust is the glue that holds healthy relationships together.

When we act in ways that betray that trust, we weaken the bond of love and place the relationship at risk.

At the same time, trust is a two-way street. The failure of one party to trust makes it difficult for true bonding to take place.

In the scriptural framework, it is far better to trust and be betrayed than to withhold trust and be constantly imputing dishonest actions or motives on the part of others.

 

Love always hopes

When we love someone we want the very best for them. We hold out great hope that their wishes and aspirations will be achieved.

No surprise then that a love that is anchored in loving God with all our heart, loving ourselves and loving others as we love ourselves is full of hope and positive expectations.

The mind that allows the fruit of the Spirit to ripen in it will demonstrate a pure love and will rejoice in hope.

 

Love always perseveres

True love is not fickle. It is not easily disappointed or discouraged.

There is a sense of looking beyond faults and focusing on the end goals.

 

2 Peter 3:9

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

 

Love never fails

The love of 1 Corinthians 13 overcomes all obstacles.

Its poster example is reflected in Romans 5:8:

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

The challenge to you today is to let love be central to your very existence.

Repent of the unloving ways in which you have acted and continue to act.

Develop a deeper relationship with Christ and His teaching. Obey His commands and follow His example.