Perhaps your feelings have been hurt. What should you do about it as a Christian? You may want to help somebody whose feelings have been hurt. What can you say? Few subjects take us faster to the heart of the New Testament. It offers five suggestions:
DO SOMETHING QUICKLY
Do something about it, quickly. Good relations with other people are so desirable in the sight of God that even something as important as worship should be postponed until effort has been made to secure reconciliation (Matt. 5:23, 24). You cannot worship properly while ill will rankles in you (1 John 4:20, 21). The longer you nurse hurt feelings, the worse they become, and the grievance assumes an importance out of all due proportion.
Remember how much you yourself have been forgiven. Jesus told the story of a man who had been forgiven an enormous debt─10 million dollars in U.S. money. But this man wouldn't forgive a fellow-servant who owed him the trifling amount of $20.00 (Matt. 18:21-35). You can see what Jesus meant─you have been forgiven so much that you must not withhold forgiveness from others.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
Remember that you are not alone in your experience of hurt feelings. Think of Christ on the cross. Of Him it is written, "When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered He did not threaten; but He trusted to Him who judges justly" (1 Peter 2:23). With this picture of Jesus suffering more at the hands of men than you'll ever have to suffer in the way of hurts and slights, why shouldn't you speak firmly to yourself: "Be strong, act like a big person, be a real Christian."
PRAY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE HURT YOU
Pray for those who have hurt your feelings. The best thing you can do, said Jesus in Matt. 5:44, is to keep unfriendly persons within the circle of your goodwill and be their intercessors, not their judges. Ask God to help them realize their mistakes and stop injuring themselves and you. Such undiscouraged goodwill may not be successful in winning the unfriendly person to a better frame of mind. But Jesus does promise that by it you will be more like God, a son or daughter of God.
Try to maintain, even under severest provocation, the spirit of Christian love. Such love, said Paul, "is patient and kind; it is not irritable or resentful.... Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (1 Cor. 13:4, 5, 7).
Handling hurt feelings is not easy. It calls for the closest fellowship with Christ as Savior and Lord. "In Christ" is the secret.
J. Francis F. Peak was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Wildwood, New Jersey, when he wrote this article.