When not to be “socially acceptable”

I had a conversation with someone recently. She hurt my feelings.

What did I do with those emotions?

The first thing I did was sit down at my computer and get some work done on a talk I was scheduled to give at a retreat a few weeks later. At least I was being productive, you might say. No, I wasn’t.

I was sinning.

Sound like strong words? To some they are but not to me. In those moments, I was fully aware that I was reaching for something other than God to deal with my hurt feelings. C.S. Lewis was right when he wrote, “All that we call human history [is] the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God to make him happy.” (Mere Christianity)

Working at my computer was not going to heal my heart, yet I still reached for something that would provide temporary relief and also be “socially acceptable.” After all, what’s wrong with hard work? Sure, I didn’t do what was best with my time, but at least I got something done, right?

No. I was sinning.

I was running from God. I was taking matters into my own hands and doing things my way. I knew exactly what I was doing. I didn’t turn the computer off and go talk to God about my feelings. My fingers kept typing.

After a while, I turned on a movie.

I kept running from God. I kept delaying the process of figuring out why those words had hurt so much. I kept delaying curling up in God’s lap, telling Him about it, sorting things out, and forgiving and confessing as needed. Some of you may be thinking, “Laurie, you got stuff done and watched a movie. This is not that big of a deal.”

What if I had reached for a glass of wine?

Still okay? Some would say yes because that is socially acceptable. What if I had reached for a lot of wine that caused me to become drunk? Most would then say that wasn’t an acceptable way to handle my hurt feelings. What about smoking a joint? Some would say okay. Illegal drug use? Most would say that was not okay. What about eating some Oreos? Some would say that is okay. What about an entire package of Oreos? Not okay, most would say. What about looking up an old flame on the internet? Some would say no harm. What about texting an old flame? Never a good idea for a married woman. Never a good idea to text a married man.

This is my point.

Reaching for wine or drugs, binging on food, and contacting former boyfriends to appease our emotions is the same thing as reaching for our computer and the movie screen. Everything listed in this post so far is an escape, both the tame and extreme examples. None of these methods heal our hearts or make anything better. Some methods are simply more socially acceptable.

Let’s not settle for socially acceptable.

Let’s do what is best for our hearts. I finally told God all about how someone hurt my feelings by what she said, and I forgave her. I also confessed that I had reached for productivity and movies and confessed my sin to the one who forgives. Once God got my heart, I finally felt better in a way that lasted. I finally had peace that surpassed all understanding.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

God is always the solution.

Picture Explanation: I recently got to visit one of my favorite friends in the whole world. Our friendship is 40 years old! She is currently facing trials with honesty and tenderness mixed in with courage and realistic grit. To me, she is as strong as the Sequoias in Yosemite park in both faith and athleticism. One of the few things I enjoy about aging is that friendships like this can be forged. The history in such relationships runs deep. 

Speaking of allowing God to tend to our hearts: If you are interested in being contacted to participate in a One Gritty Blink Bible study, click on the Oaks Ministries link below and send me an email so I can place you on a list to be contacted as online and face-to-face studies are planned. Let’s not just focus on things in this short life, but also what counts for eternity!

Note: No part of my posts are derived from A.I. Thoughts and writing stem from my mind and heart as I process life week-by-week and continue to grow in my understanding of God and how to apply His wisdom to the world around me.   

© 2023 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.   

6 Responses

  1. This is good heart-changing stuff, Laurie. I tend to run to the same things you mentioned to cope. But as someone who writes about behavioral health, I know the “self-medication” never actually solves the problem. Thank you for the reminder to run to Christ with my emotions and hurt feelings.

  2. Wow, Laurie! This is a great post! The things we grab to assuage our emotions provide immediate “relief,” or so we think! We run to them on impulse! Lord, help my unbelief when I think things other than you will satisfy!
    I love the happy photos of you with your friend!

    1. I am growing weary of some reaching for the same old things, things I have justified because they are “no big deal,” productive, or “small” issues.

      We can’t listen to society.

  3. Finally catching up on your blog, this Sunday morning in France! So fun that you put some photos from our time together. I cherish every moment I had with you, Laurie!

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I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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