I have recently been discussing the conversation of inclusion and exclusion with a few friends which led me to share why exclusion hurts me personally the way it does. I have felt left out or not a part of most social situations. And this feeling stems from hurt in my childhood.
I have to discovered the source of this pain and hurt feelings by being introspective. It is easy to be hurt or have reactive feelings towards situations, and just let them hurt us. I believe it is important to pause when we feel that and ask the Lord to reveal to us the source of the emotion.
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you.James 1:5
Is there a social situation that constantly brings you anxiety or hurt? Is there a time of the year where you feel annually depressed or sad but can’t pinpoint exactly why?
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”Matthew 11:28
Countless times in Scripture we are shown how God asked His people to remember His blessings and how He carried them through difficulty. There is a need to pause and turn back to rediscover or remember. While this is valuable and important we don’t stay there. The Israelites weren’t asked to create the stones of remembrance (Joshua 4) to ride that high or not move forward. I believe in a similar way we need to look back to the source of hurt or pain in our life so we can surrender it over to the Lord and not bare that burden anymore.
When we aren’t invited to a party let’s stop and examine why that hurts. When a specific day or holiday comes each year let’s pause and address the source of the pain or depression. Sometimes we allow our hurt to be our identity but that is not who God has called us to be. Instead we are His royal sons and daughters and our identity is in Him ( 1 Peter 2:9).
The beginning of our faith journey and salvation begins with one moment, the moment we realize, through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, that we are sinners in need of a Savior. Therefore, we have to have some form of introspection.
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:8-9
The revelation of our sin brings sorrow and a desire to be forgiven. We have to know our sin nature to know we need to be saved from it. The same goes for hurt and reoccurring issues in our hearts and minds. If we continue to try to bury emotions we aren’t seeking healing from our brokenness.
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Curt Thompson, author of Anatomy of the Soul: Surprising Connections between Neuroscience and Spiritual Practices That Can Transform Your Life and Relationships discusses in his book that we need to ‘pay attention to what we are paying attention to’. In essence, our past hurts imprint on our brains a response pattern to future hurt that mimics that of the past. In his book he used the example of a man who was constantly feeling belittled when his wife used a certain tone of voice when she talked to him. It wasn’t until he realized that his mother used a similar tone constantly to put him down as a child that he was able to find healing and hope in his marriage. His wife never meant to hurt him or put him down but his past hurt had taught him to respond that way.
How has your past taught you to respond? This is a question we need to ask ourselves when we are faced with reoccurring negative feelings in situations. What do you need to take to Jesus today, Friend? Do you find yourself constantly battling a hurt feeling? Ask the Lord to reveal to you which lie the past has taught you!
When you uncover that lie, lay it at the cross and remember that you do not identify with that anymore! You are a new creation and you are dearly loved by your Savior! He came to save us from ourselves. Sometimes we have to become students of ourselves to uncover hidden brokenness and thought patterns that do not align us with our King.
Become a student of your hurt and ask the Holy Spirit to be your guide in uncovering what the past has taught you.
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