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UCB Word For You

How to help hurting people

05 July 2021
‘Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious.’

There are three things that can cause us to be easily hurt or to hurt other people without intending to: 1) We speak out of our own hurt. German poet Hermann Hesse wrote: ‘If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.’ It helps to remember that people often lash out in response to what’s happening inside themselves. 2) When we’re hurting, we get touchy. Imagine that you ignore a splinter in your finger, and it gets infected. Someone brushes up against it, and in pain you shout, ‘You hurt me!’ However, the real problem is the splinter that you didn’t deal with in the first place. Hurting people overreact, overexaggerate, and overprotect. They also over-influence. Often it’s the person with the most pain who can be the most hurtful. If we’re on the receiving end of a hurtful comment, we should try not to retaliate, and instead speak and act with grace: ‘A gentle answer will calm a person’s anger, but an unkind answer will cause more anger’ (Proverbs 15:1 NCV). 3) Getting over our hurt takes time. Quick fixes don’t work. The kindest thing we can do when someone’s hurting is to demonstrate God’s love by showing them that we care about them, and, if they’re willing, to help them work through their issues and get beyond the pain. Good things can come from bad situations. It might mean we have to deal with some difficult issues, but in the process, we might discover some treasures we didn’t know existed, and end up with a great relationship.

 

What Now?

Do you know someone who can be hurtful? Today, spend some time praying for them, and if God prompts you, reach out to them and see if you can help them work through any pain they might be feeling.

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