Here’s a post that I shared some time ago and felt the need to share again. It seems many people want to help others feel better and get overly invested in having an outcome that makes them feel comfortable. Reaching out to help people in pain is rarely easy, in fact, it’s usually very messy and uncomfortable. We need to trust God’s timing in people’s lives and only confront others when God is leading us to do so, and not out of our own pride. Hope this encourages you today!
There is an epidemic today of people who suppress their pain. For years I was unable to deal with the pain from my childhood because I was in denial of it. It seems like there is a contest to see who can tell the best story of who had the worst childhood. There is no shortage of people to tell you how they had it so much worse than you, so you should be grateful.
It was always easy for me to look at what others had gone through and minimize the pain I had. The problem with this is minimizing or denying your pain doesn’t make it go away it actually makes it worse. It‘s like having a splinter and ignoring it; it becomes infected and then you have a much bigger problem to deal with. This attitude can keep us stuck in our pain.
I believe we need to be careful when people are opening up and sharing their pain with us. It’s not up to us to qualify their pain. We should not compare them with others and tell them why they should feel lucky that they don’t have it as bad as someone else.
When my husband and I were going through a very tough financial situation recently a few well-meaning people we knew tried to make me feel better by telling me how much better we had it than others. This resulted in feelings of judgment and condemnation on my part. It really wasn’t helpful. I had to feel my pain, be real about it and give it over to God in order to be healed from it.
If we look at the life of Jesus there is not a single time that He minimized someone’s pain or compared their pain with others. He had compassion for them, prayed for them and healed them. Jesus should be the model we use for how we treat others.
There are times when people need to be confronted about being stuck in anger and resentment. Before we confront others we need to take stock of ourselves and make sure we have taken the log out of our own eye first. We need to proceed prayerfully and ask God to help us speak the truth in love. We should not dwell on our pasts, but we do need to be honest about our pain and hand it over to God so He can heal it. We can’t be healed of something we deny is there.
What past hurt are you allowing to fester?
Whose pain are you minimizing today?