Remember . . . Hurting People Hurt People


Ever been around an injured animal, especially one that is normally sweet, lovable and affectionate? Their usual docile demeanor can suddenly turn mean, can’t it? And it happens to people, too.

They can lash out at ones they love for seemingly no reason, at times when it’s least expected. And sometimes their venom or claws are aimed at us. We get blindsided by their response and it hurts. We feel betrayed and wonder what we might have done wrong.

The good news is that their response is rarely about us and almost always about the pain that someone or life has heaped on them. That doesn’t change the sting we feel but perhaps it can help us react less dramatically.

Hurt people hurt people. And they can be anywhere. In our own home, church, club, school or job location. So what do we do when we get the brunt of their anger?

First, try to understand. You may or may not be in a position to respond or help but perhaps you know enough or can find out enough to back off and let them be because you get why they so suddenly reacted the way they did.

Second, pray for them. They probably need some divine intervention and God can certainly help them sort out their conflict or bring people into their lives to help.

Third, listen if they’ll let you. If you have a relationship with them, let them talk and give them a healthy place to talk about their angst. You may need to set a time limit and a boundary for how often they can tell you their story, but listen as much as you can.

Finally, point them to help. That might be to God, to a counselor, to you or another friends who they trust. Sometimes the anger is a cry for more. Be that or help them get to a safe place.

Who’s hurting in your world these days? It just could be that someone has hurt them, too. Let them know you care.




Sincere Doesn’t Necessarily Trump Wise


I’ve been watching the Republican debate, the last one prior to the Iowa caucuses. I see a stage full of very sincere American leaders who believe with all their hearts that they would be the best leader of our country for the next four years. They’ve spent many months of travel, millions of dollars, hundreds of nights away from home and thousands of hours speaking, debating, shaking hands and eating hot dogs and special sandwiches to fulfill their dream.

But I find myself wondering why some of them are still in the race. Several are barely  registering in the polls and few seem to be listening to their views anymore, though they are sincere.

Sincerity is a good thing. Who wants to put their confidence in someone who doesn’t really care?

But sometimes wisdom has to win the day, not just in politics, but often in life. We may sincerely want a new job or to move to another state or get one more degree, but is it wise? Of course, it’s not up to me to decide for these leaders whether they should move on in the presidential race.

However, I do want to warn all of us to not always let our sincerity guide our decisions. Many people walk into counseling offices, ruin their health, overspend their budgets or even destroy them families because they let sincerity overcome wisdom. Wisdom often comes from people and places we typically don’t look or agree with but sometimes they should be our best friends. We should at least be willing to listen.

Who’s talking to you right now about being wise rather than just sincere? Maybe it’s time to listen.