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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall
The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
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.
- 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.
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!