Hell Hath No Fury
Donna has a passion for not allowing hurt to be what defines her. I love that about her. She knows the danger it poses if it is allowed to fester, and she wants to see Christian women freed from the self-inflicted bondage that nursing “hurt” can cause. In this article, she addresses the art of loving God with all your mind, and in so doing, “becoming” the Bride that God intends every Christian woman to be. ~BB
“Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.” The Mourning Bride, William Congreve, 1697
Although this playwright is virtually unknown, a paraphrased portion of this line lives on to this day. So, why do you think they say that about us? It seems to me that these words have passed to us through over 300 years because they
ring of truth. We gals have, by design, some characteristic tendencies. We tend to nurture, feel and show tenderness, and sometimes (admit it), we have a penchant for drama. One of our most common downfalls is obedience to the voice of our emotions when that voice conflicts with that of our Heavenly Father. This is especially true when we have been scorned; hurt deeply; when we experience loss.
Since sin entered this world shortly after creation, no one has made it through earthly life without experiencing loss. At times, we rob ourselves of our own innocence, or cause the loss of our own integrity and our fellowship with God as we sin against Him. Circumstances cause the loss of life, health, and financial security. Others who negatively affect us, intentionally or not, cause us to lose trust, relationships, and emotional security. Loss can’t be avoided entirely, and when we experience loss, we experience emotional pain.
Is it sinful to feel hurt because of loss? Absolutely and unequivocally, feeling hurt is not a sin. We can be certain of this because we see throughout Scripture that our Heavenly Father, His sinless Son, and the Holy Spirit experience emotional pain (as well as many other emotions). There is a time to mourn. Do grieve the loss of life; the loss of or damage to a relationship; the loss of health; the loss that you’ve caused yourself and your testimony by your own sin.
There is a right way to mourn, though: a holy way (1 Peter 5:6,7).
The problem begins when we allow the pain to pull us deeper into bitterness and anger, and away from our relationship with God. Psalm 4:4 tells us to “Be angry, and do not sin.” Ephesians 4:26 expounds upon that and tells us not to be angry past sundown. This may seem impossible, but if we don’t take our pain-tainted thoughts captive, we progress toward a dangerous line when we harbor anger toward ourselves or others. Eventually these emotions have
power over us, and lead into a strong temptation toward action, and if somewhere along the way we haven’t broken free from the progression, we will act in some way that causes even more loss, for ourselves and others. And the further we allow ourselves along this progression, the harder it is to pull out of this black hole of emotion.
While a very young woman, most of the pain I experienced was inflicted upon me, all by myself. I was raised in a Christian home and knew that I should be confessing and asking forgiveness, but instead I made comfortable
accommodations in my heart for heavy guilt and seething anger toward myself. I falsely thought that God couldn’t handle forgiving my sins. This line of thought is a strange form of pride, and it took a long time for that pride to give way to brokenness. I am still not completely certain that I have forgiven myself for all of the damage that I did to myself and others, and especially to God’s heart and His kingdom, but I have embraced that God’s forgiveness is all that I truly require (2 Corinthians 12:9). For years I failed to realize that the innocent blood of Jesus covers the sin of the entire world, and therefore He can certainly handle forgiving mine, if I confess my sinfulness—not just the acts, but my nature. During all of that time, I clung to excruciating guilt, and ultimately I defined myself by those sinful acts and ended up repeating versions of those same acts. By His grace, I came to accept His forgiveness, and this has allowed healing from the pain. He freed me from the power and control over me that my sin nature held, and the guilt and pain of the sinful acts I had committed.
When emotional pain is inflicted by others or by circumstances, not much guilt is involved, but we still must remember Ephesians 4:26. Feel the pain and loss and anger; this is the natural result of sin. We are told not to let anger remain long, though, or Satan will have a foothold. God rarely gives us a list of “do nots” for dealing with hurt or anything else, and here in Ephesians, we are given plenty of “do’s.” Ephesians 4:32 tells us to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” After all, if our Holy God forgave our sins through Jesus, then what nerve do we have, sinful beings that we are, to withhold forgiveness to another of God’s creation? These commands to be tender and kind are given to us regardless of how we feel. Forgiving and acting kindly and tenderly, despite our feelings, will lead to closeness with God, but neglecting these commands will place a wedge between ourselves and God: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” -Matthew 6:14, 15
We cannot break free from having emotions, and frankly, I don’t want to. Who would we be without them but robots or puppets? There would not be much proof left that we were created in God’s image if we were absent of emotions.
Emotions bring us wonderful blessings, and can even be used of God to call us closer to Him. Allowing our emotions to overpower us, though, is dangerous. Emotions are fleeting, and misleading at times (Jeremiah 17:9). Let God rule over your heart instead of your emotions, and you will know peace, despite all of the losses you experience in this life.
Donna loves to learn through reading, writing, and relationships, and in all things she aims to love others like her Savior, Jesus (still learning how to do that, too). She is graced with a husband of 14 years, with whom she grew up in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Together, they have been blessed with three children. Outside the home, she enjoys volunteering at her kids’ schools, hiking, and modern day treasure-hunting (geocaching). While at home in Parker, Colorado, she can usually be found either happily cooking in her kitchen, sedentary and unable to detach her nose from a book, or watching a Steelers game on TV (only if the book isn’t so great).