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emotions as red flags

December 26, 2007

My high school health teacher was a strange man. I can’t image what it must be like to be the one to discuss emotional and sexual health with teenagers day after day after day … but this guy at least needed a break. I think he permed his hair too.

The guy was often right, is the problem, and it was difficult to take him seriously.

He used to always tell us that you can’t hurt someones feelings. He would argue that you can’t hold a feeling in your hand, so how could you hurt it? You can’t hit it, kick it, stab it, etc.

He was trying to help us understand that our feelings are our own and that no one can hurt us emotionally unless we let them … but trying to explain that to a room full of hormonal high school students was impossible. We argued. We called him names. We withdrew our trust and confidence, and refused to believe a thing he said for the remainder of the semester.

Of course, people can violate others’ emotions. People from the dawn of time have been betrayed by those they trusted and loved, and who should have loved them back. And of course it is unhealthy to try to be an emotional island – keeping people away for fear of ever being hurt. “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never loved at all.” I agree.

But I was talking with someone yesterday who had experienced a little bit of offense (although said person probably wouldn’t have called it that), and I thought of that health teacher.

Day-to-day, our little “hurt feelings” are probably red flags that we ignore when we blame and accuse someone else’s behavior. If someone says something to me – innocently or maliciously – and my blood pressure spikes, it’s probably because there is something in me that Holy Spirit needs to burn out (and it’s most likely pride).

If I get upset because I feel like someone is being condescending toward me, or because someone doesn’t appreciate me – maybe it’s because I hold myself in too high esteem. If I’m wounded because someone dislikes me for no reason, because a leader doesn’t take my suggestion, or because someone doesn’t trust me – it’s probably my wounded pride.

Or if the “offender” is dead wrong it’s because I’m striving for the approval of man and not God. Either way – it’s me, not you.

Just a thought. Next time someone “makes you” feel a certain way – ask yourself why.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. The Academy Against Apathy permalink
    December 26, 2007 6:13 pm

    being clothed in humility…………it’s not a garmet that fits straight away. Thank the Lord for Grace and His Holy Spirit.

  2. KnowYourGod permalink
    December 28, 2007 11:57 am

    this is an excellent thought. i think you should research further biblically and preach it. this would be timely for our youth. imagine if they could grasp this concept now, even if they don’t quite put it into practice yet :)

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