Day 1: Understanding Hurt
Thomas Jefferson once said, “When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.” There’s tremendous wisdom in that quote! Taking time to pause when experiencing frustration or anger may help you respond to a situation and not simply react to it. However, counting to ten, or even one hundred won’t always help you get to the root of why you may be angry.
Research has shown that anger is almost always the result of one of two things. First is fear, a topic we studied in greater detail last week. A second common cause of anger is hurt. Not just physical pain, but also various forms of emotional distress. Perhaps it’s a death in the family. Or perhaps somebody says something that gets under your skin. Maybe a colleague says something inappropriate about you in a staff meeting. Or maybe a teacher or professor tells your class that your project is an excellent example of what not to do. Circumstances like these occur on a near daily basis, and the natural reaction is to feel, or perhaps even lash out in anger.
As you read today, consider this: when you experience frustration or anger, how often do you take time to consider why you’re having such a strong reaction?
Matthew 5:43-44; James 1:19; Ephesians 4:26-27
Be honest: How often do you pause to consider why you’re feeling frustrated or angry?
Have you ever thought about how to best communicate your frustrations (i.e. hurts/fears) in a way that may prove more effective than lashing out?
Read Matthew 5:43-44. How regularly do you pray for those who have wronged you? (Would you be willing to write out a prayer for them today?)
What have you learned today about the nature and character of God? How will you better reflect His nature and character today?
Heavenly Father, I confess that there are times when I don’t pause and consider the reasons as to why I may be experiencing frustration or anger. This week, I pray that You will provide me with opportunities to grow by seeing and understanding the fears and hurts I have, and that You would provide me with wisdom to respond to these situations well. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.