Thursday, November 21, 2013

Recipe for "Poor Me!" Soup

I started something at work that I can't seem to stop. I bring bagels in when it's someone's birthday. I work with all men, and I thought it would just be a nice...feminine touch...guys don't really think of these things. The problem is that it's never ending. Birthdays happen all year! What's funny is that they really, really love it! 

The other day, I did something very bad. I forgot someone's birthday. He didn't say anything to me, but someone else told me that he was upset that I'd forgotten. Did I feel terrible or what?! I made it up to him the next day, but it wasn't the same. I already forgot and the special day already passed. 

Everyone wants to feel special. But sometimes we have expectations that others don't meet, often unspoken ones. If it's unspoken, that person has no way of knowing what we want, or that they unknowingly hurt us. Sometimes we get excited about something, like our birthday, or something that we want to share with someone, and that special moment isn't acknowledged by someone who is important to us. We feel hurt. Over time, the hurt builds and, if allowed, can turn into resentment. The worst part, is that person we resent may be completely unaware that they ever hurt us! 

Rather than let hurt morph into resentment and allow resentment to build into something worse, like unforgiveness or bitterness, it's important to do two things: 

First, take it to Jesus.  Jesus understands hurt and betrayal more than we know...oh, so much more! But He forgave. He didn't hold it closely to his chest and nourish it and help it grow. He let it go. He may not have experienced the exact situation you did, but He definitely experienced the emotions! He understands, He empathizes and He cares! He thinks that you are special! He celebrates you! He won't forget your bagels. But He won't bring those bagels to your pity party! The pity pot is only built for one. And it's lonely on the pot. Is it really where you want to be? Do you really want to nurse that grudge? Do you really want to keep a list of everyone who has wronged you? After awhile, that pity pot starts to stink, and trust me, people can tell when you've spent time on the pity pot! You have "victim" written all over you. They will run far away!

Second, you may need to let that person know that they hurt you. We tend not to do that, perhaps because we are afraid of their reaction, and we don't want to add anything else to the hurt. And no one likes "confrontation!" But guess what? If they're unaware of the hurt, they will most likely be apologetic! We really have no right to hold someone responsible for a hurt they are unaware of!

It's important to take our hurt to Jesus before we talk to the person who hurt us, because without the healing love of Jesus, our simple, "I felt hurt when..." sounds like an accusatory, "You hurt me!" The beauty of taking your hurt to Jesus is that He heals our hurts and our hearts. We may even realize that we no longer feel the need to make our hurt known to that person. We can just let it go. That's forgiveness...that's the wonder working power of the Holy Spirit.

Unknown victim endlessly stirring "Poor Me" Soup
Get off that pity pot and stop stirring your "Poor Me" soup. Forgive like Jesus did. Let Him heal your hurt and your heart. I can tell you from experience, the soup is very bitter--and you're the only one who will want seconds! The bagels of Jesus are so much better! All the hurt just falls through the hole! And who doesn't love a Jewish bagel?

Blessings Along the Path,

Song of the Day
Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me (Linda Ronstadt)

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