Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I'm thinking...

I let my feelings get hurt today. I say "let" because to say "I got my feelings hurt" would imply that the hurt was intentional. It wasn't. I know this because I know they love me. "I let my feelings get hurt" implies that I'm the one with the problem, not them.

It's a never ending probelm, too. Once I figure out how to quit wearing my heart on my sleeve, I'll do okay. Until then, I let myself get so upset over things that I think are going on around me. I think this is the reason they did so-and-so. I think they were thinking this, or saying that.

This is wrong for two reasons. First of all, it's prideful. This thought that everything a person does should make me happy...oh, that in itself is worthy of a lenghthy post. Proverbs 11:2 says,

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom." (NIV)

Ugh. Double ugh. Moving on, please!

The second reason it's wrong is the main reason I'm posting. It boils down to this: I am not a mind reader. I have no idea what someone is thinking until they open their mouths and speak it. Unless, of course, that person is my 8 year old son and he is drooling over mint chocolate chip ice cream. Elizabeth George, in her book Loving God With All Your Mind, reminds me of this. Phillipians 4:8 says,

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." (NIV - emphasis added)

If I don't know what they're thinking, I can't know if what I'm thinking they're thinking is true. I think. Here's an example: Mary is in the checkout line at Wal-mart. She sees Caroline come in the door and waves to her. Caroline does not wave back and keeps walking. Mary immediately gets upset and starts this mental discussion with herself..."Well, what's her problem? What did I do to her to deserve that brushoff? I bet she's upset that she didn't get invited to that shower I was invited to and is mad at me about it. Well, I'll show her, I won't speak to her the next time I see her, and wait until I tell Jenny about this!" She then snaps at the checkout lady to hurry up.

The truth is, Caroline had just come in from the sunshine and couldn't see the checkout lines very well, was in a big hurry because she had left her mother in the car with her crying 9 month old, and didn't see Mary at all. But because Mary thought she knew what Caroline was thinking, she allowed herself to get in one big tizzy. Had she applied Phillipians 4:8 at that moment, she could have saved herself, as well as the many people affected by her mental tirade, much heartache.

Does this make sense? Probably not, but it's helping me sort through. The point is, dwelling on something that I don't know is true is pointless, and getting my feelings hurt over it is dangerous. Dangerous to my relationships, dangerous to my emotions, and dangerous to my spiritual health.

So, how did I resolve this issue? I was right in the middle of feeling sorry for myself when the precious verse quoted above popped into my head. I wasn't thinking on things that were true. So, I promptly stopped my stewing and started thinking about things I knew were true, like the fact that they loved me and I know I can trust them. And, like the fact that God uses every situation to draw me closer to Him.

And now, when those self-serving, pity-party inducing thoughts creep in, I can banish them with a good dose of the Word of God. Pretty good weapon, don't you think?


Kat said...

Okay. I'm reeeeeeally hoping it wasn't me being that when we talked we talked about such tantalizing stuff such as copyright laws and seeing Jack Black in Kung Fu Panda. But if it was me, you're right, and I love you with all my heart :)

HeathahLee said...

I KNEW you were going to think that! No, bestest friend, it wasn't you!

The Pink Potpourri said...

thanks for your comment, and thanks for your post! i have experienced the same thing too. i also enjoyed reading your scripture references. its great when we can take what God has spoken to us through his Word and apply it to our daily lives!

Anonymous said...

I tend to stew over things for much longer than necessary. Of course, I always think the other person thinks that I am a terrible horrible person. I'm not. I don't think. Well, if you ask her, she may say something different.

During my last bible study, the point was brought up not to assume anothers thoughts/intentions. I've really tried to do this. Thanks for the reminder.

Just came across your blog today and enjoy it.
-- Brandi

Kim said...

You really hit the nail on the head with this one. I always find myself caught up in my own head (not a pretty place to be) thinking about other peoples motivations. It's very self-centered and just like you said...not true.

Kimba said...

Hey! That comment above was me! I must have been logged in with other persona. Mwaaaaaah Haaaaaa Haaaaa.

jen said...

I am so glad you were at theparty tonight to tell me about your blog. I so needed this. I am so wrapped up in feeling unworthy and that I am not important to my friends like they are to me. How self absorbing. It doesn't mean that I will stop, but it helps me soooo much to know i am not alone. Love ya!

Tracey said...

Oh Heather, bless you for this post. It spoke right to my heart, as this is something I struggle with too. I never, ever, ever even considered it being a pride issue---but it TOTALLY IS!

Jesus is so good.