Published On: Fri, May 3rd, 2013

When People Hurt You At Work

By Rick Warren

As long as you work with people, the odds are high that they will hurt you at different times.

Customers will abuse you. Competitors will lie about you. Associates will betray you. Bosses will not appreciate you. Sometimes people hurt you intentionally, sometimes they do it unintentionally. It doesn’t matter – it still causes pain just the same! The typical response when we are hurt is to become resentful. Resentment is holding onto a hurt. Rather than letting it go, you remember the hurt by reviewing it again and again in your mind. However, rather than making you feel better, resentment only intensifies the hurt. Every time you review it, the hurt seems to get bigger and it feels even more unfair.

The Bible states that resentment is self-defeating and gives three reasons for this:

It is unreasonable. Harboring resentment will not change the past or correct the problem. It just causes you to act in foolish ways. “To worry yourself to death with resentment is a foolish thing to do” (Job 5:2).

It is unhelpful! Resentment always hurts you more than it does the person you resent. You feel miserable while the offender goes unaffected! “You are only hurting yourself with your anger” (Job 18:4).

It is unhealthy! Physicians say that resentment is an unhealthy emotion. It can literally poison your system. “Some men stay healthy until they die. Others live and die with bitter hearts” (Job 21:23-25).

If all of the above is true, there remains an important question: How should we handle the hurt?

1. REVEAL YOUR HURT. Admit it to someone you trust. And tell God you hurt. Don’t repress it – confess it! If you swallow your anger, your stomach will keep score. I say, “Revealing your feeling is the beginning of healing.”

2. RELEASE YOUR OFFENDER. Let them go. Forgive them – for your own peace of mind. You will never stop hurting until you have forgiven them, whether they have requested forgiveness or not. Just remember how much God has forgiven you and trust God to settle the score.

3. REFOCUS YOUR LIFE. As long as you focus on someone you hate – you allow him or her to control you. When you say, “He makes me so mad,” you are admitting that he has control over your emotions. Do not simply resist the resentment; replace it with other thoughts. Remember this simple truth: You can only have one thought at a time – and YOU are responsible for that thought!

Adapted from a column by Dr. Rick Warren, the author of numerous books, including the highly acclaimed, The Purpose-Drive Life, which has been translated into many languages and sold throughout the world. It affirms the importance of having a carefully considered, clearly expressed purpose to guide everyday life.

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