Stop what you’re doing right now and think about the last time someone hurt you? What happened? How do you feel about it now? Not how you felt then, but how do you feel now?
Are you angry at the person who hurt you? Would you be fine if you never heard from that person again?
This week John Woodall finished his two part series on Vengeance at North Point. (Click on the image at the top to go watch both parts.) His message was built around a simple three letter acronym and two possible outcomes.
Hurt — W-A-R // WIN or LOSE
“When you get hurt you have to wrestle with it.”
Wrestling with our hurt allows us to deal with the hurt and the person who hurt us. Don’t sit around ignoring the hurt or wondering what you should do about it. Get up and deal with it. By wrestling with our hurt, we allow ourselves to heal from the pain of that hurt. We can mend broken relationships, or we can end bad ones properly.
John quoted his dad (I think): “Be properly concerned about it, but don’t be overly concerned.” Don’t let what someone did to your eat away at you forever. If you don’t wrestle with the hurt, it’s going to win every time.
Plans fail when there is no counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
Proverbs 15:22 HCSB
You might know a lot (I know I do), but sometimes another person’s perspective is what you need. Find someone you trust and talk about what’s hurting you. Don’t gossip about it. You’re not there to belittle (see part one) the person who hurt you. You’re there to get advice about how to deal with the hurt.
One of the side effects of getting advice from someone you trust is that the person isn’t going to be afraid to step on your toes a little. (This is a different kind of hurt that is actually good for you. Having your feelings hurt a little by someone you trust helps you grow.) Pay attention to what you get defensive about. John pointed out that these are generally the areas that you need to deal with to work through your hurt.
“There is a time for Response.”
When pride comes, disgrace follows, but with humility comes wisdom.
Proverbs 11:2 HCSB
“When pride enters a relationship, it’s only a matter of time before it leads us to disgrace.” One of the areas that we–me–tend to get defensive about are points of pride in our–my–lives. Someone is better at something than you are and you end up getting mad about it. Or someone gets picked for a team instead of you even though you’ve been practicing endlessly. Or your friend gets a job and you’re still looking.
Guys, we’re much more likely to let our pride get hurt. It’s in our nature to be proud. And that’s OK. But when we let that pride reach unhealthy level it can destroy our relationships if something causes it to get hurt. You can still be proud of your accomplishments without having to be the best.
War only has two outcomes. You either win or you lose. When it comes to warring with our hurt, we can either choose life or death. We choose whether we are going to surrender that hurt to God (life) or if we’re going to hold onto that hurt until it hardens our heart (death) towards the person/people who hurt us.
If you don’t surrender your hurt, something in your die. I can’t be avoided. How many stories have you heard about siblings who had something happen to them as kids who haven’t spoken to each other in decades? Or children who don’t talk to their parents because of something that happened to them when they were younger? Or ex-spouses who speak nothing but hate about their ex? Those people aren’t living great lives. Something in them is dead.
“Lord, not my will, but your will be done.”
Don’t let your hurt kill you. Make it right with the person who hurt you, or allow yourself to forgive them and yourself if you can’t make it right with that person directly.