“You hurt my feelings” is such an interesting phrase. Have you ever thought about trying to describe what this means to a person who is learning the English language? When do we add this to our vocabulary? My earliest memories, I remember fighting with my big sister and telling her she hurt my feelings. But my boys hardly ever say it. They just slug it out. Not that punching is a better option than pouting but it is their preferred method. They are not so in touch with their feelings.
But what does it really mean to say that my feelings are hurt? A while back I blogged about a little book that had a huge impact on me called, The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness, by Tim Keller (see post here). Keller talks about how it is not really our feelings that are hurt, it is our ego. He says,
Ego often hurts. That is because it has something incredibly wrong with it. Something unbelievably wrong with it. It is always drawing attention to itself- it does so every day. It is always making us think about how we look and how we are treated. People sometimes say their feelings are hurt. But our feelings can’t be hurt! It is the ego that hurts – my sense of self, my identity. Our feelings are fine! It is my ego that hurts.
Ouch. But so much truth. My “feelings get hurt” when I feel looked over, misunderstood, under appreciated, under used and on and on. But those things are my ego. Ego is my pride that shouts, “I am important.”
I am learning that if I don’t want my feelings to get hurt (inasmuch as feelings refer to my ego), I must find my self worth in my relationship with God. When I am secure and confident in who God made me to be, when I know that my God sees me and has a special calling on my life, I do not have to fear being overlooked. I do not have to worry about being under appreciated. I do not have to let someone else’s opinion of me define me, because my confidence is found in the only One who’s opinion matters.
I love the series my husband is teaching right now called Sticks and Stones. In the 2nd sermon of the series he said something great, “Just because people don’t know who you are doesn’t mean that God doesn’t know how to find you when He needs you.” I am learning more and more that God uses people who let the game come to them, not people who are always trying to make things happen for themselves. What God wants me to do is to do what He has told me to do. He uses people who are in the daily act of obedience.
I find that there are two times when my “feelings get hurt”
- When I take my eyes off of my assignment and envy someone else’s assignment.
- When I don’t find my self worth in who God says I am, and search for it in what others think about me.
A friend of mine was telling me that she decided one day that she was not going to be that woman who always gets her feelings hurt. I love being around her because she is confident in who she is and who God has called her to be AND who He has not called her to be.
So today I am following her lead. I am not going to let my feelings get hurt. I am going to be confident in who God made me and what He has called me to do. And when I am tempted to let my feelings be hurt, I will remind myself that my ego is what is hurt, not my feelings.