If you live on this earth, someone will offend you at some point in life. Offense is accompanied with hurt and pain; therefore, at some point in life, you will experience hurt to some degree. Hurt is a part of the journey of life. It is totally okay to feel hurt.
But in Christendom there is such a degree of falsehood and hypocrisy that most people feel they must put on their church face and “confess” they are “blessed and highly favored” because that’s what we should do if we believe in God.
The church has not created a safe space for people to be genuine about their emotional state. Therefore, many pulpits and many church pews are filled with hurting people – bleeding hearts that are covered with a glorified church façade. The church conveys a nonverbal message that we should be happy always. We should not hurt when bad things happen. We should smile our way through it, even when we are dying on the inside.
Because of this notion in the Church, hurt is often misunderstood and misguided. Many, including church leaders, misunderstand hurt and have wrongfully surmised that the hurting person is unforgiving. Unforgiveness and hurt are two very different things.
Hurt is a natural response to pain, be it physical or emotional pain. Hurt is the feeling in response to the emotional of physical damage done to a person. We are made to respond this way, so hurt is okay.
Unforgiveness is a desire for revenge, it is unpardoned offense. We are not made to function this way.
Hurt (when experienced in a healthy manner) is not offensive to God, but unforgiveness of all forms and state is a stench in His nostrils.
If it is okay to hurt, does it ever become not okay? If so, when? Although it is okay to hurt, it is not okay to stop at the hurt. It is not okay to linger in the hurt. Hurt should be a response to the painful encounter, not a result or outcome of the encounter. When we are wounded and broken, we cannot be of much use to God. We must be restored to health before God can use us.
But unfortunately, when offense comes our way, most of us get hurt and harbor the hurt long enough for it to cause us spiritual and emotional damage. While it is natural to hurt, harboring the hurt is unhealthy; it leads to offense, and that opens the door to spiritual death, making the strategy of the enemy successful.
This topic is covered in detail in chapter 4 of THE HIGH CALL OF FORGIVENESS. Chapter 4 details the process from the infraction to hurt to bitterness. Chapter 4 is titled HURT IS OKAY.