Mean words and hurt feelings

Hurt feelings. So unpleasant. It stinks to have hurt feelings.

I experienced some jabs to my emotional state recently. But I'm working my way through. My brain tends to hold on to mean/angry/hurtful/confusing words and situations MUCH more easily than it holds on to kind/loving/thoughtful/generous words and situations. Why brain why? I am in the process of retraining myself to focus on the love and forget the rest. But it's tough work. Agree?

It'd be nice if "I'm rubber and you're glue; whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you" were more true. But it isn't.

Words are actually really sticky. And they don't always bounce off their intended target. Sometimes words are more like hot glue, burning and sticking their audience to the core.

Tonight, as I sat pondering my hurt feelings and starting to dwell, something (probably the Holy Spirit) inspired me to grab an old Small Catechism.

I would like to say I regularly have the sudden urge to read the thoughts of Martin Luther, but that would be untrue. I like the Small Catechism a lot, but I rarely think to turn to it in times of stress.

Tonight, though, I did. There it sat...the 8th commandment and its meaning before me. The meaning really got me: "But defend your neighbor, speak well of him, and explain everything in the kindest way."

Explain EVERYTHING in the kindest way, Luther? Really? EVERYTHING? Uff-dah. I don't want to. I want to be mad because my feelings are hurt and someone said mean words. I want to dwell and feel self-righteous because I'm right and the other person is wrong. I want to feel better. I want my hurt feelings to go away. I DO NOT WANT TO EXPLAIN SOMEONE ELSE'S RUDENESS IN A KIND WAY!

But maybe ol' Luther was onto something. I stumbled across James 4:11 - "Do not slander one another." Then 1 Peter 4:8: "Love covers over a multitude of sins."

There are occasions in life when it's very appropriate to confront people on they hurt they've caused. Absolutely positively.

And there are other occasions when we just need to let it go and refocus. Take all that energy and put it toward love and light. And avoid turning our hurt feelings into a toxic cauldron of bitterness and pain.

Sometimes when people hurt my feelings, I feel like slandering them for being so thoughtless and hurtful. But in the end, slandering in any form really doesn't do that much good. I'm not so sure there is such a thing as "justified slandering" as nice as that loophole might be. Slandering someone who says something mean just drags me down even further than the hurt feelings did in the first place.

Maybe it all boils down to a random comment a friend made during coffee hour fellowship today. "People are weird."

Yep. We are. We all are. Perhaps there are times when that's the kindest explanation we can come up with. And that will do just fine.

Jesus said, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." I don't think that was a joke. I think that was legit Jesus' guidance. He also said, "In everything, do to others what you would have them to do you." Again, that was not a joke. That was the real deal.

I'm off to bed. Not to dwell. Not to rehash. To pray, to forgive, and to go to sleep. A new day is just around the corner.


  1. I hear ya, sister. I hope you can rest and find healing. I rehash words and conversations and actions all. the. time. It's hard, but necessary, to often just let go.

  2. Good advice! Like you say, very tough to just "let it go" sometimes. ...... and we don't have a clue as to what internal torment the other person is going through, to make them act the way they do or say what they say. My brain goes into constant "replay mode" after some bad experiences like this. I have to put it into overdrive with exercise or puzzle solving to get it to STOP.

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