Tension will hurt you or help you. You get to decide which.

Psalm 55:12-14 in The Passion Translation

It wasn’t an enemy who taunted me. If it was my enemy, filled with pride and hatred, then I could have endured it. I would have just run away. But it was you, my intimate friend—one like a brother to me. It was you, my advisor, the companion I walked with, and worked with! We once had sweet fellowship with each other. We worshiped in unity as one, celebrating together with God’s people.

It’s bad enough when harm comes from an enemy. But, betrayal at the hands of a good friend is more than many of us can bear. Being unjustly hurt by friends or family is one of the worst kinds of pain. This is what David is describing in Psalm 55:12-14. He and this companion had shared close fellowship.

Can you relate? I know I can.

So, what do we do about it when this happens? Well, we can let it hurt us or help us.

What Not to Do When You’re Hurt

First, don’t ignore it!

The more you try to pretend it didn’t happen, the more upset you’ll get. Remember, the enemy can whisper all sorts of lies if you decide to bury it. And before you know it, you’re burning with anger. And the enemy will build on that too. (Psalm 39:2)

Second, don’t run from it.

I know you want nothing more than to bolt from the situation. Sometimes it’s all I can do to sit there and endure what’s happening. Using means of escape from the pain will only deepen it. (Psalm 55:6, 8) It will also further damage the relationship, maybe even to unrepairable state either because you can’t find love for that person anymore, or you react in ways that harm them.

Third, don’t hide your hurt.

You think you are strong by hiding the pain, but with every day that goes by, you’re weakening. (Psalm 32:4) The enemy likes to lurk around in dark places. If you let him, he will move in while you’re hiding.

Fourth, don’t self-protect.

Guard your heart against self-protection after being wounded. Cut off any vows you made that build walls such as “I will never let them hurt me again,” or “I won’t let that happen again.” The Lord is your protector. If unjustly attacked, He will bear witness. Justice is His. No weapon that comes against you will succeed, and you will silence every voice raised to accuse you. (Isaiah 54:17)

Fifth, don’t resent it.

The only person you are hurting with your anger is yourself. (Job 18:4) That is unless, of course, you are projecting your anger onto the person who hurt you or other people in your life.

Resentment perpetuates the hurt. It takes it from one event and continues going.

You can’t run through the valley; you must calmly walk through it because you aren’t’ alone. Remember, JESUS NEVER LEAVES YOU!

How Does Tension Help You?

Tension builds muscle, strength, and character as long as it’s in the hands of Jesus.

Steps to Move Through the Tension & Pain

Are you going through some tension right now? Ask the Lord what He is saying about the moment. Make a plan. Here’s one I came up with recently.

Step 1: Move through the situation or event you found yourself in. Ask Holy Spirit what your part was in the confrontation. I find that it’s NEVER 100% the other person’s fault. It may a more substantial portion, but I ask the Lord to search me first.

Then, ask Him to heal that memory. Forgive the person(s) who wounded you. Don’t move on until you’ve worked through that and have a peace about you.

Step 2: Move through the spirits operating in the person(s). What I mean is ask the Lord what’s operating in or around them that may have triggered the confrontation. I find that understanding that they are likely reacting from a wounded place can help me find grace and mercy for them rather than continuing to seethe about how they did me wrong.

Remember, our struggle isn’t against flesh and blood; it’s against the rulers, authorities, and powers of this world. It’s a spiritual battle. (Ephesians 6:12)

Step 3: Process what to keep and what to throw out.There may be some genuine nuggets veiled in the chaos. Ask the question: what said is real and accurate, and what were lies from the enemy?

You absolutely cannot process criticism until you’ve moved through steps one and two. You have to get your heart right so you can glean the good stuff that came out of the confrontation and flush the rest!

Step 4: LET JESUS HEAL YOU! He will heal your broken heart and bandage your wounds if you let Him. (Psalm 147:3)

What other ways do you use to move through tension and wounding?

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