Mistreated

HOW TO HANDLE ANGER WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN HURT

Some time ago, someone in my church sent me an email describing how a dear friend had broken their relationship and was being hurtful toward them. The person who contacted me was not only hurt – they we now struggling with anger.

Since we are all mistreated by people and we will struggle with the hurt and the anger, I hope these thoughts will be a help to you. This I know for sure – God will is there right now to be all you need!

 

Thank you for sharing your hurt with me. God is pleased when we open up and share burdens with one another. One of the reasons He established His Church is so we can practice biblical community. It is good you have been willing to share your heart. 

It is also good that you recognize the anger struggling to find a foothold in you is something that needs to be drained out. Your conviction in this is not only an evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in you. This is also evidence that your heart is responsive to God which is a wonderful reality about God in you!

Here are a few suggestions for overcoming your hurt and the struggle with anger that has come with it.

1)  Talk to God conversationally and in detail about the whole situation. He fully understands how you feel (think how many people reject and misuse Him every day). Talking openly with people is good – doing this with God is even better. Because He is a real person who loves you, He will care for you as you come to Him.

2)  Go to the gospel! This is where we are meant to find wisdom, grace, strength and comfort. Think about what God did through the gospel for you. Consider what Christ went through. Remind yourself what you now have through the cross. As we so often say at Greentree, “preach the gospel to yourself”.

3)  It may help to recognize that forgiving the person who hurt you doesn’t mean you haven’t been hurt or the situation doesn’t deserve anger. Forgiveness comes from knowing God has forgiven the entirety of our many sins against Him and others. We will always stand forgiven of far more from God than we are called to forgive in others as we see by Jesus story in Matthew 18:21-35.

4)  Put this person and your hurt in God’s hands. Only God can change them. Allow God to be your defender, He will do a better job than we ever could.

Since you continue to be treated in a hurtful way, this is a process you will probably need to repeat multiple times. Be encouraged by Jesus example in Matthew 26:36-44. When he was confronted by the impending burden of the cross, Jesus went to the Father three times, praying the same prayer for comfort and strength. If Jesus went to his Father as many times as he needed, so should we.

5)  In reality, your offender’s actions against you are actions against God. Knowing this helps us replace anger with compassion. This person is responding this way, because their heart is not filled with God. They have no understanding of His deep love for them or His lavish grace available to them. What is missing in this person’s life is not simply sad, it’s tragic.

6)  It will help to pray daily for this person’s salvation. This will help keep their sins against you in the context of their need for grace.

7)  Continue to share your struggle as needed with supportive believers (your small group if you are in one – I hope you are). They will be ministers of God comfort to you and they will pray for you too.

I am thankful for this opportunity to share with you. Know that I am already praying for you. More wonderful is that the Bible tells us the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ are both ever interceding on behalf of those who love God. I hope you will contact me whenever you feel it would be helpful

I am grateful to be your pastor!