I’ll never forget it!
Many years ago, after church, an older gentleman approached me and said, “Joy, you are not pretty enough to win a beauty pageant, but I think your personality makes you pretty.”
Wait, what did he just say?
I had no idea how to respond to his statement. Still in confusion that someone would make an effort to come and tell me that I was not pretty, I half-heartedly replied with, “oh, thank you, I think.”
I walked away baffled and feeling very unattractive. I received this man’s statement to mean that while he thought I was nice, he also thought I was ugly. It hurt my feelings, so I responded by being less friendly to him and I avoided him at church.
When someone hurts my feelings, my first reaction is to defend myself and then, to distance myself from that person.
What about you?
When someone hurts your feelings, do you mull over it? Does it cause you to treat that person differently? Do you have unforgiveness in your heart towards that person?
Do you have trouble getting over it?
Now, when I look back on the “beauty pageant” comment, I can see that I was too sensitive. My pride caused me to hold a grudge against this man who was a friend of mine. I had known him for years and we had always had a healthy relationship.
He was not a person who would hurt me on purpose.
After I examined my own heart, I realized I overreacted.
Ecclesiastes 7:20-22 says, “Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins. Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you—for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.”
From time to time, we stick our foot in our mouths don’t we? We start a conversation with the best of intentions, and end up saying something we later regret. Sometimes, our words just do not come out right.
It happens to us all.
In the book of Ecclesiastes, we are encouraged not to overreact to every word someone says. We are encouraged not to be sensitive when other people say things that rub us the wrong way. Instead, we are to remember that we, also, say things we later regret.
We all struggle with communication from time to time, so the next time someone else’s words hurt your feelings, be careful not to take it too seriously. Try not to hold every word against them.
Remember this verse in Ecclesiastes. Extend a little mercy and have a heart that is quick to forgive.
Grateful for you!