The Fear of Being Hurt…

We have been talking about Being Authentic. If you remember I mentioned some things that will keep us from being authentic and enjoying close relationships. Last week we talked about the fear of being rejected. Today let’s talk about the fear of being hurt.

Everyone has experienced hurt at some time or another in his or her life. But the fear of being hurt again keeps us from being authentic. The truth is you will be hurt in life many, many times. Remember, this is not heaven. This is earth where people hurt and get hurt. And the reality is you are going to be hurt over and over again. I realize this is not a pleasant thought.

The more important issue is what do you do with that hurt? If you hold on to that hurt, it’s going to strangle the life, love and energy out of you. If you hold on to your hurt it will cause your heart to become cold, insensitive and hard. You have got to learn to deal with hurt so you can get on with your life.

There is a sad process that goes like this. I have seen it over and over. The more you have been hurt, the more you become afraid of being hurt again. And the more you are afraid of being hurt again the more defensive and protective you become. And the more defensive and protective you become the more inauthentic a person you become.

We develop these self-protective habits and then say I am not letting anybody get close to me ever again. You may be popular, you may be funny, you may be the life of the party, but nobody is going to get close to me ever again. So you avoid situations that could leave you vulnerable. Like being in a small group. I am not getting that close to anybody. No way. It scares me to death. You build defensive walls around your heart that nobody can get through. And you actually push people away by all kinds of different behavior.

This is no way to live. In fact, this is not living this is merely existing. You were meant to live a life of love and that means you have to take risks because love always involves risk taking. But not if you are hiding behind walls you have erected to try and keep you safe. You see walls not only keeps others out, it keeps you in.

You may remember one of the so-called reality shows in the past called Temptation Island. The premise was: Put a number of couples that are committed to each other on an island with a group of 26 exotic looking tempters chosen to deliberately undermine and sabotage the relationship and tempt them to leave their partners. The sad thing about this show is that it was a relationship contest. And in a relationship contest somebody always loses. And when somebody loses real people get hurt. Real hearts are broken. Real scars take place in people’s lives and in their psyches. As a pastor, I have helped hundreds of people through hurtful situations. It was never a game and the stakes were always high. It was not fun and it is not funny. People who get hurt and betrayed feel it for a long time. They always seem to be a little more cautious, reserved, defensive, careful and a little bit more inauthentic because they have been hurt deeply.

What happens to people who give in to the hurt and hold on to it? What happens to the people who don’t know how to let the hurt go? The Bible tells us. Ecclesiastes 5:17 all they get are days full of sadness and sorrow and they end up sick, defeated and angry. What happens? Their heart grows cold. My heart grew embittered and my affections dried up. Your heart grows cold. It turns to stone when you hold on to a hurt.

So how do I learn to love again when I have been hurt? Let God heal and give you a new heart. God is in the heart transplant business. Ezekiel 36:26 says I will give you a new heart. I will put a new spirit in you. I will remove your heart of stone. Have you been on the defensive because you have been hurt? Jesus Christ can give you a fresh start. He can move you back into an authentic relationship. But it starts with getting a new heart.

When you first fall in love it is so wonderful, so great! Wow! Fantastic! The person is perfect! But remember they have not taken their mask off yet. They have not yet revealed their total self. But when they do, Ouch!

Some of you have been hurt so badly. You have been closed for years. It is been years since you have been open, vulnerable, and authentic with anyone.

Jesus was hurt, used, abused, mistreated, and rejected but he said from the cross, Father, forgive them they are not aware of what they are doing. Of course, He needed the Fathers grace and power to do this, but He did it. It can be done. But you have to make a choice to do what is right verses what is comfortable. It is called vulnerability. You have got to learn how to forgive and open up and how to do it safely.

Paul says, once our lives were full of resentment, we hated others and they hated us. But when the time came for the kindness and love of God our Savior to appear, — then He saved us, Not because we were good enough to be saved but because of His kindness by washing away our sins and giving us the new joy that comes from a new heart. God wants to give you new joy.

About Ron

Ron and Anne founded the first Christian Fellowship Church in Harlingen, Texas in 1982. Ron presently serves as its apostolic overseer. He travels nationally and internationally motivating and challenging people to be effective in their call and ministry to their local church, their community, and the marketplace.

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