Have you been hurt by someone so much that you react in a negative way?
To the point that you are surprised by your actions towards them? Leading you to harbour grudges as inwardly you are clearly upset.
When someone hurts us deeply, we have three options…
1| Hurt them back;
The way you may have dealt with being hurt in the past, might not be the best way to continue dealing with it now. Part of growing and maturing means you learn how to deal with new situations. Develop new techniques and choose not to react to new hurts in old ways. Learning how to respond not react is the beginning.
Whether we feel like it or not, in becoming more like Christ, we should be mindful to be a blessing [Galatians 6:10]. Choosing to pray for them, not talk about them, and actively find ways to bless them, instead of trying to retaliate or shame them [Matthew 5:44-45].
2| Avoid them altogether;
In his letters to the church, Paul encouraged us along this struggle by saying ‘as the occasion arises and opportunity opens up… whenever we can we should always be kind to everyone, especially to our Christian family’ [Galatians 6:10].
- Determine how to calmly speak for yourself.
- When or if appropriate and possible, gently make the other person aware of how they may have hurt you or made you feel uncomfortable.
At times we get tangled up by how others treat us, that we lose sight of how we should treat them. In that moment what we ought to do is sometimes what we don’t do. This could be due to many things like being continually hurt in the past or being taken advantage of. And when faced with how to react – our past experiences can cloud our immediate ability. So that we react out of fear and dread making us more sensitive to everything that person says or does. Impelling us to misinterpret their motives and repeatedly perceive them in a negative light.
3| Pray for them and look for ways to bless them;
There is no question that it is difficult to act as if you were not concerned and behave with caution. Where others are likely to treat you badly if they already have a bad track record. By keeping our eyes upward and on Christ we can confidently believe the promise that God presents to us … ‘But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I’m going to do!’ [Isaiah 43:18].
- What we must not concern ourselves with is how this person will account to God for their actions.
- We on the other hand are not to pass judgement on others [Romans 14:12-13] but rather hand the situation over to God and then refuse to take the situation back to try resolve it.
Keep thinking about this… be mindful to be a blessing [Galatians 6:10]. Which begins by occupying your thoughts with ways in which you can be positive and helpful. When you change the way you think you will have no time to dwell on personal grievances about trivial things with inconsequential situations and people.
- Stop storing negative emotions that don’t need to be stored.
- Instead de-clutter these emotions and fill up with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control [Galatians 5:22-23].
- Additionally, you are presenting God with an opportunity to work on the other person – and you!
- If difficulties continue, there are those who can support you, such as professional help from a counsellor.
how have you dealt with hurtful people – intentional; unintentional or a simple misunderstanding?
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