When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Writers Workshop - Hurt Feelings

Joining up with Mama Kat's today for her weekly writer's workshop. Hope to see you there! Feel free to join us for another fun filled week of inspiration!! Pick your poison...
This Week's Prompts

1.) Locked out. 
2.) Write about a time you wanted to disappear.
3.) An inappropriate time to laugh. 
4.) A time you hurt a friends feelings. 
5.) Advice to new mothers.

I chose number 4, to write about a time I hurt someone's feelings.

It was a couple of years ago and I was talking to some friends about a book that I had been reading. The book talked about things that we can do to get closer to our Heavenly Father. It talked about changing things in our lives in order to be His people. One of the things it talked a lot about was things we can do to show respect and reverence. The book also mentioned what was appropriate to wear to church, and what was not. It talked about choosing not to wear "beach attire" to worship the Lord in, and how our dress should always reflect our love and veneration for our Heavenly Father and His Son.
I was talking to a couple of the people at my work, because they were in positions to understand the author and to tell me what they honestly thought. I wasn't sure what I thought of it, and I thought some of it might be just a little harsh, but I could see the point in dressing up for Sunday. Sometimes, I can be one of those people that don't like being told what to do. I don't like having to admit that I might be wrong. And I must admit that I was guilty of wearing the so called "beach attire" myself from time to time. Especially the jean skirts and flip flops. I have always been one to be comfortable whenever possible.
However, one of the women that I work with was going to a funeral that day.at my church. Unbeknownst to me, in her truck she had a jean skirt and flip flops to wear to the service. Although I was not talking to her, or about her, she heard our conversation and took it as being judgmental and as belittling how she dressed.
She was devastated, upset, and hurt that what she had wasn't good enough to go to the funeral of a friend in our church. She was upset because she felt as if we were not only judging her, but condemning her because her beliefs were different than ours.
Let's just say it was not a good day. For any of us. I apologized, but the damage was done. It was many weeks before she forgave me for my insensitive remarks. I felt terrible. Although I truly did not mean to hurt her and was not talking about her or to her, nevertheless, my remarks caused her pain and drove a wedge between us.  
I would never have knowingly or willingly hurt her. I have learned from this experience. I am much more careful what remarks I make and who might overhear when I am making any remarks at all. I am not perfect, but I am trying and learning and working on it.
I do think it is important not to hurt the feelings of others. We can't always prevent it, but if we are a little more conscious of what we are saying and who is overhearing, I think we can better avoid offending others.
I have been hurt enough in my life with the words and deeds of others. I don't like to, or want to, be the person giving the hurt, unintentional or otherwise. I do not expect others to be like me. I don't mind or notice what other's wear to church. I think you make the decision to do what is best for you and your family.
I have changed the way I dress, not because of a book, but because I want to show my Heavenly Father that He is always worth the extra effort it takes for me to dress up my physical body as well as my spiritual one. I have learned that I don't have to talk about my decision. It is not necessary to ask anyone else what I should or shouldn't do. It is not and never will be my place to judge anyone else (thank goodness!).
I have learned that one of the most Christlike things we can do for others is simply to love them and accept them, no matter how they are different from us. We teach by example much better than we will ever teach by words and mistakes. So, when I think something is right, I will simply model that behavior and let others pick up on it as they choose. That is the best way that I know of to teach. It is the way the Savior taught, after all. If we all worked on sharing a little more of His love, and a little less of our own judgement, the world would be a better place.

Mother Theresa once said, "If you judge them, you have no time to love them."


  1. The end point of this post is really important. I don't get bent out of shape about church attire anymore, because enough people have pointed out that this is a human issue, not a God one--really, God doesn't care what we wear, he cares about the heart--but there are plenty of other subjects for me to pass judgment on people. How do I teach my children that certain behaviors are wrong, and still love those who practice them? Still treat them as beloved children of God instead of second-class citizens? I'll spend my whole life figuring out that one.

  2. When I moved to CA, it felt weird to see folks showing up for church in shorts and flip-flops. I had to expand my view of appropriate attire, and recognize that God sure didn't care what we wore.

    Because I think one's faith should be a private matter, I would never have this discussion at work...but I guess it depends on your work environment. I'd be afraid that I would offend someone who doesn't share my beliefs. I'm not even sure how I would start a conversation with co-workers to see if we shared the same views. You're much braver than I am.

  3. Thank you for sharing this today. This is exactly what I needed. I've had a similar experience this week in the visiting teaching area. I won't go into detail, but I was mad. Not offended or hurt, just mad. So this was just what I needed to bring me back down out of the 'mad' cloud. I just need to do what I know I need to do because I am converted and doing it for Heavenly Father and not for any other reason or the way someone else thinks I should do it.

  4. I grew up going to a Baptist church where everyone dressed to the nines and it was frowned upon for women and girls wear pants. I've been a member of a Methodist church since the mid 90's where there is a more relaxed dress code...Some dress up, some wear jeans. I am usually dressed a little nice but I really like to dress up since I am a stay home mom and casual all week.

    There are some in our church though, mostly older members, who do not approve when the pastor is dressed less than they deem appropriate. A family member of mine has been known to get up and leave if the pastor walks in wearing nice jeans. I will never understand that.

    But just as they shouldn't be judging, I shouldn't be judging their judging either. I struggle with that!

    Sorry your co-worker got the wrong idea. Sound like you did everything you could to make it right though.

    That Mother Theresa quote is one of my favorites! :)

  5. As I read your post, I wonder how many times I've gotten offended or hurt when no intent was made. I need to work on this ....

  6. Amen to your thoughts today. I have had many experiences in the areas that you have written about today. I have been on the side of being miss understood and also having my own feelings hurt. I love reading post like yours because it is the experiences of life that we learn the greater lessons.
    Blessings to you for a great post and keep on enjoying the moments.

  7. Just so everyone knows, I work in a small office and we can pretty much talk about anything. However, I am much more careful about what I talk about at the present time. It is not worth hurting anyone, even accidentally.