How to Handle Hurt and Disappointment in Relationships
Last week we talked about how to help those who are hurting. Today we're gonna talk about how to handle hurt and disappointment in our own relationships.
In a broken world, we will inevitably experience hurt and disappointment in our own relationships with our spouses, friends and family members. As Christ followers, what makes us different is how we handle it when it happens.
Guard your mouth.
Hurtful and resentful words often fly out of our mouths when our feelings are hurt. They are words that aren't helpful to the situation and will only tear the relationship apart a little further. To prevent such damage, we should use all our might to zip our mouths.
Go to God first.
Retreat into a quiet space where you can lay down all your thoughts and emotions at Jesus's feet. He already knows how you feel. But it's the surrender of those thoughts and feelings that empties your heart of hurt, resentment, anger, and bitterness. Only when your heart is empty of unfruitful thoughts can you fill it back up with the fruits of the Spirit. Go to God in prayer and ask Him to help you reconcile the relationship in the most God-glorifying way.
Search your heart
While you're laying down your hurt at God's feet, ask Him to search your heart. Ask Him, "did I sin in any way that contributed to this? Is there anything that I need to seek forgiveness for?" Sometimes we might be so clouded by our emotions that we don't see the situation objectively. Asking God who knows your heart through and through will help you see everything in a better light.
Let the lamp guide your feet
Knowing how to handle hurt and disappointment comes from God's Word. So what does the Scripture say about grace and forgiveness?
God didn't call us to only forgive a few times; He asks us to forgive time and time again. Moreover, we are called to extend to others the forgiveness He has given us. How often have you sinned against God? How often has He forgiven you? Just as God forgives you, you ought to forgive others as well.
Converse with the other party
When you are ready to approach the person in a calm manner, talk through the situation using the conflict wheel. It gives you and the other party a chance to talk through:
1) What had happened
2) How it made you think
3) How it made you feel
4) What did you want
5) What do you want moving forward
This conflict wheel is very helpful as it guides you through the conversation in a clear and logical manner.
Pray before your meeting.
Before approaching the other party, ask God to prepare the hearts of those involved. Ask Him for a fruitful conversation as He guides your lips.
Confess any sins on your part and ask for forgiveness.
If God has revealed to you any sins on your part, be faithful and humble in asking for forgiveness from the other party.
It is not easy handling hurt and disappointment. But if we seek to glorify God in the process, He will bless us.