What to Do When Someone Hurts You
by Leslie Vernick
What do you do when someone hurts you?
The Bible gives us two Biblical principles when it comes to our response to being hurt.
The first is to “forbear,” to bear one another’s weaknesses.
James 3:2 says we all stumble in many ways.
Sometimes it helps to stop and recognize that, just like you, the person who hurt you is a sinner. We’re all sinners.
Part of maturing as an emotionally healthy person is bearing with one another, overlooking some things and learning to be patient with others’ imperfections.
If you verbalize every little offense to every person who hurts you, you won’t have time for much else.
Some people are hypersensitive to even the slightest hurt. If that’s you then it’s important to look at that and start developing the skill of forbearance and a bit of a tougher skin.
On the other hand, there are those on the other end of the spectrum: the “doormats…” people who regularly allow themselves to be mistreated. Their forbearance is unhealthy.
The church often encourages women that their continual marital suffering somehow honors God.
So they’ll put up with it and put up with it and put up with it until, one day, they just can’t hold it together anymore and blow up.
Then, because they feel shamed and guilty about losing their temper, they go back to putting up with the abuse.
But being a doormat for habitual sin actually damages relationships. This is where the second Biblical principal comes into play: speaking the truth in love, confronting sin, and exposing darkness.
Matthew 18:15 says, “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.”
The relationship, in this instance, can be restored.
Please understand, it is possible to forgive someone who doesn’t confess their sin. But forgiveness does not automatically mean a restored relationship.
Unconfessed sin separates us from God and from one another (Isaiah 59:2).
So, when you become aware that you’re feeling angry or hurt over being sinned against, and it isn’t the first time this has happened, it’s important to talk with the person… with the goal of preserving the relationship.
You see, God calls us to be peace-makers, not peace-keepers. Or peace fakers
And there’s a difference. A peace-maker, when there’s unresolved conflict, goes to the person and tries to make peace by bringing the hurt or sin to light.
Two biblical principles: forbearance and truth in love. Both are important for healthy relationships.