The words spoken to one who is ill can hold such power, not always good, even when the intent to hurt is absent. Karen shares of a recent experience.
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24).
Have you ever had someone say something to you that just made your heart fall?
At a family get together, I had someone ask me how I was doing physically. I told them in an upbeat voice “I have good days and bad days.” This is one of my standard answers. I like to stay positive and not give someone a laundry list of my physical ailments.
Their reply was “Well, you sure don’t look sick. You look good.”
My heart fell just a little. The tone in their voice implied that I was making it all up. They implied that I couldn’t possibly be sick because it didn’t show to them.
Later that day, I had someone tell me I should try exercising. You could hear the confidence in their voice that it was the cure to all my physical problems.
I just smiled and nodded my head. Sometimes that is what you do when you choose not to completely lose it and tell them what they can do with their “advice.”
There will always be people that will say things that hurt us. I seriously doubt they even know they are being unkind. After all, it would take a truly mean person to purposefully be bent on hurting another.
I try to cut people some slack and give them the benefit of the doubt. In their own way, they are actually trying to help. Some might even feel terrible if they knew they hurt your feelings.
I would venture to say that when someone tells me that I don’t look sick, they are trying to give a compliment.
God instructs us to forgive others. It doesn’t take away the hurt. It doesn’t mean what they say is right. It just means we forgive them and move on.
Prayer: Lord, help me not to get angry when I am hurt by someone else’s words. Help me to be like You by being slow to anger and abounding in love. Amen.
About the author:
Karen Weber has dealt with several autoimmune diseases for over 20 years. She has a passion for encouraging others with the hope of God through the path of illness. She has led a support group and has taught classes for the community on “Living Well with Chronic Illness”.
How do you respond when someone hurts your feelings? Do you receive “advice” from well- meaning friends regarding your illness?