We are at the end of this mini-series. We’ve discussed how to deal with difficult people and the demanding people. Last week, we looked at people who disappoint us. Today, we’re going to discuss how to deal with people who have hurt us.
When people hurt us, we have two natural tendencies: to remember and to retaliate.
But that’s not how we should act. So, how should we respond to the people who have hurt us? How do you handle all of those wounds and hurts that you’ve stockpiled in your memory?
Don’t repeat them. Instead, delete them. Let the hurts go. Forgive and get on with your life.
“Love does not count up wrongs that have been done.”
When we get hurt, we tend to repeat that hurt in three ways: emotionally in our minds, relationally as a weapon, and practically by telling other people.
First, we repeat it by going over and over it in our minds. But resentment is self-destructive. It only perpetuates the pain. It never heals; it solves nothing. Whatever you think about most is what you move toward. If all you think about is how much you’ve been hurt in the past, then you’ll only move toward the past. But if you focus on the future, then you’ll move toward the future. If you focus on potential, then you’ll move toward the potential.
Second, we repeat our hurt in relationships. We use hurt as a wedge and a weapon. We say things like, “Remember when you did that?” or “But you did this!”
A proverb says, “Love forgets mistakes; nagging about them parts the best of friends.” Nagging also parts marriages and every other relationship you have. Nagging doesn’t work.
Third, we repeat our hurt by telling it to other people. It’s called gossip! We tell everybody else except the person with whom we have the problem.
Gossip is pure and simple ego, or trying to make ourselves look and feel better. Every time you share gossip, you are being prideful.
Love keeps no record of wrongs. Love doesn’t repeat a wound so that it turns into resentment, gossip, or pride. So, let it go!
Love responds to hurt by letting it go.
Let’s put this into practice.
- What hurt that you have rehearsed over and over in your mind do you need to let go of today?
- Why do you think it’s easier to nag about a mistake rather than forgive it? Is it really easier in the long run?
- What do you need to change about the way you respond to gossip?
I’m curious to hear what you think. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Excerpt taken from Daily Hope by Rick Warren.