When Those You Love the Most Hurt You the Most
There may not be the worst feeling in all the world than when someone you have loved the most does something that hurts you most. It may be that they did it on purpose or maybe they did it out of carelessness, but nevertheless they hurt you. I have felt that knife. I have known pain in my heart after someone I dearly loved said or did something that harmed me. The pain is intensified because of who it was that hurt you.
I am human. I confess that sometimes when I am hurt I yelp like a dog whose paw has just been stepped on. However, after the pain of being stepped on, a much deeper hurt occurs when you consider who it was that stepped on you. We expect our enemies to hurt us. We expect those who hate the cause of Christ to bring us harm. What we don’t expect is for someone we love most to harm us and bring pain into our lives.
So what should we do when this happens? To be honest, what we should do and what we actually do are often diametrically opposite. There have been times I’ve reacted properly and times when I didn’t. Therefore, I cannot tell you that this is what I’ve always done, but I can tell you this is what I wish I would always do and what I try to do.
1. Step away from them for a while. Someone asked Dr. Hyles what he did when someone rejected him. His answer was surprising. He said, “I reject my rejecters.” That sounds vindictive, but he went on to explain that sometimes when we are rejected we must reject back in order to avoid further conflict .Sometimes the distance will allow them to realize that they need us and still love us.
2. Forgive them for they may not know what they do. What Jesus was saying was they don’t fully grasp what it is that they’re doing. They knew what they were doing, but they didn’t fully grasp the implications of what they were doing. I think that’s what we have to remember. Sometimes people hurt us without stopping to think about the consequences of what they’re doing or the implications of their behavior. Give them that same benefit of the doubt.
3. Be slow to answer. Here is perhaps the most difficult task. Most of us respond quickly and I would include myself in this. Sometimes the best thing we can do is not make that phone call, not send that email, not post that response, not speak those words. Sometimes the best thing we can do is nothing, until we had the opportunity to calm down and clear our minds.
4. Be still and know that he is God. When someone I love has hurt me I need some quiet time alone with God. Take a walk and pray. Go out into the woods and sing hymns or meditate on Scripture. Do as the Psalmist did and seek your refuge in that one who will never hurt you or harm you.
5. Remember in whose company you are walking. Those that Jesus loved the most denied and forsook him. If it happened to him then why should we expect that it would not happen to us. It’s going to happen. Do not be a martyr, but identify with Christ.
6. Speak positively about those who hurt you. Don’t slander them. Don’t criticize them. Don’t attack them. Find good things to say about them. Remember the good times not just this bad time.
7. Learn from it. It seems that when I have been hurt the most by those I’ve loved the most is also when I have learned the most. There are great lessons to be learned in the trials of betrayal. Learn them and pass them on to others.
8. Stay busy helping others. Nothing will make you forget the hurt brought on by those you’ve helped in the past like enjoying the blessings of those you help today. If someone you fed in the past hurts you go feed someone else today. If someone whose life you helped to salvage in the past has hurt you go find someone else whose life needs salvaged and try to help them. Don’t stop doing what you should be doing because someone has hurt you.
9. Pray for and be willing to accept reconciliation. Sometimes the person who hurt you really did not mean to do it. It was a mistake they wish they had not made. Leave the door open for them to return. Pray that God would speak to their heart and allow the reconciliation to take place.
10. This is not the end of the world. You may feel like this is the end, but it may be just a new beginning. If God allowed it then we can endure it or He would never have allowed it in the first place. When we focus on being what God desires for us to be there is enough there to keep us occupied. Plus there are still many more people who need salvation and salvaging. So, let’s get busy.
No doubt you too have been hurt by someone you deeply love. Just keep loving them. But, most of all keep loving your Lord who will never hurt you. Don’t let it be your downfall. Do your best to follow some principles like these when you’ve been hurt by someone you dearly love. You will fail from time to time, but get back up and go at it again.