When You Don’t Feel Like Being Loving
“Instead, we will lovingly follow the truth at all times—speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly—and so become more and more in every way like Christ….”1
Do you ever get your feelings hurt? If so, when this happens, how do you usually react? Do you want to withdraw from that person or get angry? Or if it it is a friend whom you feel hurt you, do you feel like ending the friendship?
When I feel hurt, my tendency is to want to withdraw, but what I try to remember to do is to pray and admit to God just how I feel and then ask Him to help me to be “as Jesus” to this person no matter how I feel, and then choose to do the loving thing towards this person, whether I feel like it or not.
Wherever possible, I also choose to share my hurt feelings with the person involved with the goal to “speak the truth in love.” To do this it is important to use “I” messages, not “you” messages. That is, to say, “I really feel hurt and need to talk to you about such and such….” Don’t say, “You really hurt my feeling when you did or said such and such.” We need to remember that what the other person says or does is their issue. The manner in which we respond and how we feel is always our issue and our responsibility.
I am not in any way seeking to justify what the other person does; rather, I am taking full responsibility for what I do and the manner in which I react. If I over-react to what is said or done, that is triggering some unfinished business in me. Furthermore, to the degree that I overreact, that is entirely my problem and my responsibility.
Admittedly, speaking the truth in love when we are feeling hurt and/or angry is much easier said than done, but it is something we need to learn how to do to maintain loving relationships.
At the same time, if the person who we feel has hurt us has a habit of lashing out when things don’t go their way, then we need to be firm with tough love, letting him or her know that if he/she continues to treat us in a hurtful manner, we will need to distance our-self from them, until they resolve their issue.
In all conflict situations, with God’s help, as a Christian, our goal is always to speak the truth in love.
Suggested prayer, “Dear God, when my feelings are hurt, please help me to evaluate my feelings to see if they are justified, or if I am over-reacting. If the latter, please help me to resolve the cause of my reaction and never blame anyone else for my issue. And even if my hurt feelings are justified, always help me to be ‘as Jesus’ to the person in question and always speak the truth in love. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’s name, amen.”
1. Ephesians 4:15 (TLB).
Note: For additional help in this area, see the article, “Resolving Conflict Creatively” at: http://www.actsweb.org/articles/article.php?i=126&d=1&c=3&p=1