“A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
There is sufficient difference between hurt and pride, but they are hard to differentiate.
I had a time once, on a birthday, where a few important people didn’t acknowledge it – my birthday – and, I, for a time, was justifiably hurt. “Am I invisible?” I asked myself. One thing led to another and suddenly I was out on the road on my own, away from those who most deserved to spend time with me on such an important family day. The voice of God was deafening! “Turn back, disobedient one!”
Soon I was turning back to confess how I felt, and, for the opportunity granted, I found compassion in the arms of my wife.
I felt hurt, but in my response had been the overture of pride. Pride takes the hurt and transforms it into resentment enough that it becomes resistance – not the love we are called to respond with.
Being Hurt Is Okay
There is nothing wrong with being hurt. We are only responding as we genuinely feel, and indeed we are validating ourselves by going with how we feel in truth.
Where we depart from God’s will, however, is in responding to the hurt by getting even – whether that is by aggression in response or by tacit resistance. (My response had been one of resistance.)
At some point we turn away from God in deciding to get back because we are hurt, rather than process the hurt in a healthy way.
Responding in aggression or by resistance does nothing to process the hurt in a healthy way. This is important. We not only do the wrong thing in hurting back, we do nothing to assuage the hurt that hurts us. That’s two forms of folly in one!
Responding in the Aggression of Pride
Whether we are overtly aggressive or covertly aggressive through resistance is a moot point. Both responses are about turning away from God.
By looking down on things from a position of hurt, we have no idea the lofty basis for love procured in the God of our salvation.
By responding in the aggression of pride, having turned our back on the will of God, things get worse, and no matter how much we justify it, prideful actions will be the ruination of us.
Having been hurt we can sink into the long mineshaft of pride or we can confess our hurt and be cleansed and healed. The former is to look away from God, whilst the latter draws close as the Spirit draws close. Healing hurts is simple: turn back to God.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.