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Thursday, May 21, 2020


"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
1 Corinthians 13:7

Recently I came across a quote that said, "To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing."  There is good criticism and bad criticism. This saying reminded me of how we must respond when others (especially Christians) hurt us with their words.  The truth is that sooner or later, someone is going to hurt our feelings.  So how shall we deal with someone who hurts our feelings? What is the godly course of action?  As God's children, we have two choices to make. We can choose to be hurt, allowing the hurt to live in us and destroy our own spirit with a root of bitterness,  or we can choose to live by Christ and bring our hurt to Him in prayer to help us deal with our hurt feelings.  Let us follow God's remedy to avoid having our feelings hurt.  Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, provides us an excellent example of how to deal with hurt feelings.

"Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, 'Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.' 41 But the Lord answered her, 'Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her'"  (Luke 10:38-42). 

Think about Mary and Martha.  You see, Martha complained to Jesus about her sister Mary when He came to visit them in Bethany. Martha complained to Jesus about her sister Mary not helping her. She criticized Mary unfairly and harshly. Mary could have chosen to be offended by her sister, but there is no indication that she felt this way. Mary was also criticized by Judas and the disciples when she tried to offer worship to Jesus (John 12:1-8).

Again, there is no indication that she took offense. Do you suppose Mary did not feel any pain inflicted on her in both circumstances? Here is a woman who loves the Lord with all her heart, soul, and mind but was treated and criticized unfairly for what she did not do, not only by her enemies but also by her own sister and the Lord's disciples. But Mary did not open her mouth to defend herself and her actions on both occasions!  Instead, she entrusted everything to her Lord and kept silent. She rose above the impulse to defend herself!

  • So, What Are the Lessons For us to Learn? 

Consider some good and wise lessons we can learn from Mary about not getting our feelings hurt:

  1. That even when others hurt us (whether maliciously and unintentionally), and it will happen, we must choose not to be offended. I'm pretty sure that those who complained about Mary were not trying to hurt her intentionally, for it was the result of poor judgment.
  2. That when others hurt us, our spiritual maturity will indeed be revealed. Why? Because we will reveal Christ Jesus abiding in us and our walk with Him when our feelings are hurt. We have two ways to react when our feelings are hurt: deal with our hurt feelings before the Lord or allow them to destroy us. You see, Mary left it in the hands of Christ. God intends for us to use mistreatments for our good. Remember Joseph, who had to endure mistreatment and abuse at the hands of his own brothers but chose to take it to God, saying, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good." And while God is not the Author of evil and confusion, He can use good or evil for our transformation
  3. That we must not take offense at reading too much into the words and actions of others. We must avoid being oversensitive and thin-skinned! Again, Mary was offended twice but chose not to take offense. 
  4. That we must not be offended, hurt when we hear false accusations. We must avoid gossip in any regard, because listening to and sharing it will put us in a bad light. Wise Christians must learn to go straight to the person who is gossiping, slandering, and making such allegations and confront them. Jesus demands fortitude and righteousness in our dealings with others. Satan uses gossip to destroy relationships and sow discord among brethren. It destroys churches and leaves bitter fruit.


As God's children, we have two choices to make. We can choose to be hurt, allowing the hurt to live in us and destroy our own spirit with a root of bitterness. Or we can choose to live by Christ and bring our hurt to Him in prayer. The Psalms are full of examples of the Lord’s saints pouring out their souls to God in prayer when they are injured and feel the pain acutely. Our God will often lead us to the person who hurt us so that we can talk to them in a gracious manner, seeking reconciliation, but it takes two to reconcile. Other times our Lord will help us to endure or forbear it, take up the cross, let it go, and move on. 

A man's wisdom gives him patience, and it is a glory to overlook an offense. Sometimes God will give us wisdom, understanding to completely understand the other person's actions. Forgiving someone does not imply that we must indulge the other person to commit a crime or continue to devastate our lives or the lives of others. When someone chooses to hurt another Christian, he is sinning against God, for he is rejecting who he is in Christ. Thus, it will affect his relationship with Jesus, whether he realizes it or not.

Although others might hurt and abuse us, causing us to be angry, we must choose not to let the sun go down on our wrath and sin. Feeling anger is a normal emotion when someone we care about hurts us or abuses us. But we must not let our anger cause us to stumble! What we do with our anger will determine whether we choose to sin or not. We must learn to be "quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry." The Lord expects no less of us, for He wants us to choose to walk the high road of living without offense. He has given us everything that we need to equip us to do His will and please Him.

May our Lord help us to have a heart of forgiveness. May we be more like Jesus, Paul, and Joseph, who died to themselves to bless those who had wronged them. May we take our hurts before the Lord and leave it in His hands. May we allow our injuries to transform us. May we choose not to be offended but rather make a friend out of our own hurt. May we understand that we are not in God's place, that He is the Master, and we are the clay.


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