How Do I Know I’m Dealing with a Hurting Person?
I conversation I had yesterday with a person I don’t know very well prompted today’s blog. I could not put my finger on what was wrong with our conversation or their reaction, but something was amiss. After thinking about it and seeking the Lord, I now believe I was dealing with a hurting person. They weren’t evil, just hurt. I believe this person has suffered from real evil and been physically freed from that evil. However, I don’t think they have freed their mind and heart form the effects the evil caused. They are still holding onto something whether it be fear, the pain itself or unforgiveness; perhaps all three. I did not lash out or speak harshly to this person in any way. I did, however, let them know where my responsibility for their beliefs and their choices ended – with them. Offense was also in play here and so was the inability to have someone disagree with them on their position. I, indeed, was dealing with a hurting person – one with a lot of head knowledge, but hurting all the same. I will say this here and now – an increase in knowledge on a particular subject does not mean that someone has dealt with deep heart pain or let Jesus heal them – it just means they know more.
Does this mean I won’t engage this person again or that I don’t like them? No. What it does mean is I will tread cautiously. Where there is unresolved pain, unforgiveness or bitterness there is darkness; and where there is darkness there can be emotional, spiritual, and mental poison. I will pray for this person and engage with much caution. After all, they are still someone God loves and Jesus died for just like me.
So exactly how did I know I was dealing with a hurting person? Well that still, small Voice and my “gut” will always be there. Have you ever had that uncomfortable feeling in your chest or that nagging thought in your mind that something is very wrong? If so, you know what I mean. I also identified a couple of other things in the course of that conversation that demonstrated deep hurt: 1) An inability to allow others to disagree politely along with a desire to argue– this can be a sign of intense fear or a need to control – both stem from pain, very deep pain and unresolved heart wounds. We see this a lot in our society now and I believe it comes from a place of pain. 2) Offense – I mentioned this earlier. Offense is readily evident by defensiveness to everything you say to a person. They find fault with it all. This is their choice. Offense is a choice. Does this mean we say whatever we want to people? No, we don’t have a right to hurt people. What is does mean is this; some people are not ready for the truth. It doesn’t matter to them if you are loving when you express truth to them, they just aren’t ready and they will shun it. Their offense is their responsibility and their issue to deal with, not yours. 3) Blame – this person immediately blamed me for what they were feeling. I was also blamed for saying the exact same thing “others had said to them.” I have no idea who these “others” were nor exactly what they had “said.” I firmly believe this person was projecting not only blame but some other negative self-image they had acquired over time on to me because they did not want to deal with it within themselves. 4) Victim mentality – this goes along with blame. People with victim mentality never look at the role they have played in any situation in their lives. They never look in the mirror to see what role they may be playing or what character flaw is causing them the trouble they consistently find themselves in. They blame everyone else and everything else. They also make a lot of assumptions without clarifying how anyone else sees the situation. It’s all about what someone did to them or how someone hurt them. I can assure you they were hurt badly by a person or situation, they aren’t making that up; but they have never chosen to heal and get beyond that – they are stuck in the past and in their pain. 5) Heavy reliance on knowledge acquired – knowledge can be a good thing and it can help us understand people and circumstances. God is a God of both knowledge and wisdom. I certainly studied about my late husband’s issues and read helpful books for my own healing. However, when knowledge takes the place of Jesus dealing with our hurt, then as I said earlier, we are still hurt with a lot of head knowledge. The pain issue is not resolved.
I hope in your conversations with others you will be kind and lovingly truthful. This does not mean you are doormat for a hurting person. This also does not mean you tolerate evil or allow it to hurt you. I hope you will confront evil head on while still loving people, if they will let you. I encourage you to be mindful of the things I have shared with you today in all of your interactions. Love people where they are, but don’t let them blame you, control you or mistreat you. Jesus did not let others do that to Him and we don’t have to either. He loved the hurting and He knew when to leave the situation or back off. He knew when they were not ready for what he was saying to them and when they did not believe. We must be mindful of these things too. Keep loving and keep being light, it’s going to bother some people. Give them to Jesus and keep shining! Love, Elizabeth