THERE IS a saying that the closest people hurt you the most. Why? Because you have expectations of them, since they are people closest to you. So we expect them to exercise an unconditional love for us, regardless of whether we are acting (to be frank) unlovable. Not only are we easily hurt because of our expectations of our relationships, but we are also easily hurt when those close to us touch on our weaknesses or insecurities. After all, how could they do this when they know how our mind works; our fears and hopes, the whole lot?
The problem lies in that we expect something perfect, when no person is perfect. You may have brought it on yourself and got disappointed and hurt because you expected more from that person. Everyone has their ups and downs, people change, unfortunately we knowingly and unknowingly hurt others through our words or actions and no-one is inncocent of ever having a selfish thought (you know it!) - it is our innate nature.
Hard to swallow but so true.
Sometimes what we initially hear as bitter words are actually helpful advice for our character development. We should thank the other person for being bold and honest for our sake. Other times, the person may have just made a passing nasty comment. The important task is to exercise wisdom to distinguish what it is and either take in the good advice or be emotionally armoured from the other negative and unhelpful distractions. This reminds me of the verse how we should 'distinguish between the holy and common, between the unclean and the clean' (Leviticus 10:10). I'm not saying that the person who said a passing hurtful comment is unholy or unclean. It's the effect their comment can have on us if we let it affect us. We can choose to absorb negative comments and become discouraged OR absorb the positive, helpful words to become more holier and in general better people.
This is one area I often find myself having difficulty in - distinguishing what is good advice and what comments I should let pass. My only sure answer is that the Holy Spirit which God gave me, that inner voice within me, can guide me to make these decisions.
But I digress.
People can change, and as a result our relationships can change without our control. Even the friends you thought you had for life can in an instant, for no apparent reason, become distant. We should still love our friends regardless of the changed relationship but since human love is imperfect, we shouldn't rely on it. The only consistency and stronghold for our life comes from God's eternal love for us. So during times when relationships change and end, don't wallow in self-pity (as I did for a long long time after a particular breakup) but choose to remember that God wants to bless you with deep and wonderful relationships. I'm a believer in God's timing and that if it is meant to work, it will eventually work out. If it isn't - that's ok, it means God has better plans!
...and a beautiful song by Kari Jobe that I've been listening to, about God's unchanging and faithful love for us..