When I Want To Be Mean Too

Welcome Encouragement for Today devotion friends. Please leave your prayer requests by clicking on the word “comments” at the end of this article and I will pray for you this weekend. I consider it a high honor to go to God on your behalf.

I looked at the text message in complete disbelief. Why couldn’t this person see how hurtful they were being? How could they be so insensitive?

I don’t know who made up the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Either they had nerves of steel or they lived on a deserted island with no other people. Because heavens, not only do words hurt me but they make me want to fight back and be mean too.

Have you ever had a little situation with someone where you really felt you were right and they were wrong? Or at least you could make a really good case for your side of things?

Oh how I have this burning need to state my case in these kinds of situations. It’s like an inner attorney just rises up, desperate to defend my rights and get the other person to see things my way. This is pretty normal, right?

Yes. But normal doesn’t always mean good. Especially when it goes against a few truths in the Bible -a few inconvenient truths when I’m wanting to be mean too…

*Colossians 2: 6-7 reminds me, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

This is an inconvenient truth: I should live rooted in Jesus’ teaching and overflowing with thankfulness. The opposite of this is for me to be rooted in self-centered opinion and overflowing with grumbling.

There is another side to this issue besides my own. I need to ask God to show me things from this other person’s side and gain a different perspective. In doing so, I will be strengthened and taught. And I need to be strengthened and taught.

*Colossians 3: 12-14 reminds me, “…as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

This is an inconvenient truth: My job isn’t to fix this person or make them see my side of things. My job is to obey God by offering an extension of the forgiveness I’ve been given.

I am dearly loved by God and deeply forgiven for things way worse than this person is doing right now. So, yes I need to forgive. But forgiveness does not equal instant restoration. I can stay healthy in this situation by remembering forgiveness doesn’t mean giving this person the kind of access in my life that sets me up for destructive patterns. I need to be loving but I also need to be wise.

*Colossians 3:17 reminds me, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

This is an inconvenient truth: Everything I do and say tells a story of who I am serving. If I am acting out of anger and spite, I am serving the father of darkness and spreading his darkness. If I am honoring to the Lord with my actions, I am serving to further the name of Jesus and spreading His light.
When you are frustrated, angry, or feeling out of control, keep in mind everything you do and say tells a story of who you are serving. www.lysaterkeurst.com

At the end of the day, honoring God leads to good things. Anything else leads to confusion, emotional exhaustion and a lack of good things.

When I was processing this situation with my husband he said something that brought much clarity to my mind. “Lysa, you know when you’ve taken the high road, God blesses you. You’ve seen these blessings over and over as you make choices that honor God. So choose a blessing today and save yourself the emotional turmoil of trying to prove you’re right.”

He’s a smart man.

So, today I’m choosing a blessing like Deuteronomy 28:1-5 teaches, “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.”

I know this isn’t easy stuff. I’m having to live it today in the midst of feeling a little hurt. But I’m also feeling a little more at peace being able to see another perspective-a healthier perspective-a Biblical perspective. And I’m really excited about the blessings that are surely coming. After all, I desperately I need my kneading bowl blessed y’all. Smiles.

If you have a tough relationship issue right now, leave a prayer request below and I will pray for you this weekend.

Also, I’m giving away 3 signed copies of Dr. Tim Clinton’s book, “Breakthrough- When to Give in, How to Push Back.”

This book is full of wise advice on how to give up your need to please, rescue, fix or control other people. Just leave a comment or a prayer request below and you’ll be entered for this random drawing.


  1. Kathy says

    Please pray for my family. My husband is running from God and is pushing me away. I feel so abandoned and afraid.

    • LR says

      I pray God gives you the grace and the strength to get through and that the Lord restores and heals the hurt in you marriage. Know that no mater how lonely it gets you re never alone.

  2. elizabeth says

    please pray for me and my family my husband and i have been seperated for two months and im trying to be patient and cordial for the sake of my daughter. i fear he has moved on without discussing it with me. im so confused and hurt but trying to stay strong and keep my faith.

    • LR says

      I know your trying to wait but sometimes God calls us to action. We must be wise in these evil days. If you are suspecting he’s trying to move on. Maybe its time for you to seduce him befor another woman does. i personally believe separation is dangerous and leaves an open door for such. Maybe its time to close that door and reunite and seek help together if you have not already. I pray that the Lored restores your marriage and gives you strength and wisdom.

  3. Cyndi Clowney says

    Wow Lysa! You really spoke to my heart. Sure, I’ve got those verses in Collassions highlighted in my bible, but with your real context, the verses rose from the page and touched my reality. I thank God for using you to speak to me!

  4. pamela Fox says

    Dear Lysa,
    I Thank God for your encouragement for today devotions,you are a blessing,
    I ask you to please pray for my family,
    My daughter has a mental illness and the stress is effecting us all My husband has chronic ill health and now has an ulcer and a spot on his lung that is under investigation.
    My son has moved thousands of km away to get a life,and has nothing to do with his sister.
    I have had to give up work because I was not coping.
    Please pray

  5. Pat Ellis says

    Please pray for my cousin and her family. Intense trials of sickness, financial problems, and biggest need is God. Pray that I will be used to say the right things.

  6. melissa says

    Hi Lisa,

    I am just starting to read your blog and really like it. Please pray for me and my family for physical and emotional healing. I have had something happen to me that has just been so devastating that I can’t seem to pick my head up. I have never been depressed in my life, but now have been going through it so bad for the past two years. I am dealing with trust issues, extremely low self esteem, emotional abuse and now it has been affecting my health as well. Please pray for a sound mind and healthy body. Thank you so much.

    • says

      Sounds like I could have written your comment. Emotional healing takes time. Especially
      when there has been abuse of any kind. I know, because of my abusive ex-husband. I will be praying for you also. As hard as it may be to reach out to others, God will use
      the right people to help slowly build your trust again. Expect others to respect you. You deserve it!! God Bless you!!

  7. says

    Hi Lysa,
    I am dealing with an ex-husband who chooses to try to control others, especially me.
    He is full of anger and takes no thought as to how this affects our 5 and a half year
    old daughter. He too, thrives to push my buttons, and, at times, he is successful. It is hard to extend grace, but my precious little girl deserves to be shown that doing the right thing always wins out over evil actions. I really needed to hear your story because
    I am choosing to take the high road, as well, in my situation. Honestly, I need grace to make it!!

  8. Glenda says

    I covet your prayers for a marriage that is, in human understanding, beyond saving, children who are suffering mentally and who are in need of life direction and jobs, and a frustrating work situation. Thank you for allowing God to use you in this ministry!

  9. jenny says

    Please will you pray for me, I am in a right mess at the moment. I am so confused right now. I came to the Lord about 6 Yeats ago (well I think I did any way)but I just can’t go to him in prayer or in reading my bible. I have made a right mess of my life and am begging to wonder if I am indeed saved at all. I have been convicted that I need to confess some stiff top my husband but I am so scared. Every day that goes past it just gets worse and worse but I’m top scared to go to him and even to go to God became I’m scared I will be rejected and condemned.

  10. Karen says

    A friend sent me this devotional……I had never seen anything from Lysa before. Thank you—very helpful stuff. I found out less than 2 yrs ago that my husband of 24 years has been unfaithful to me for many years with many women. He and I are both getting help and God is healing our marriage. It’s been a very tough journey but I would like prayers for wisdom, dscernment, healing, and freedom through Christ alone.
    THanks so much.

  11. Lisa says

    Please pray for my husband and for my marriage. My husband is running from God and the spirit of unforgiveness has taken root in his heart and he has become bitter and blames me for everything bad thing that has occurred in our 14 years of marriage. Pray that I am able to let go and let God.

    • Amber says

      Wow. Sounds like we are living the same life. The Word of God is what has gotten me through the past 5-6 years. And each day every day I have to hear them again & again. I also listen to WAY FM. See if you can find it in your area. Strong messages from God through music. It’s very powerful!

  12. Jaime says

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for mentioning Breakthrough last week in this post!! I went directly from here to Amazon to check the book out and ordered it. Got it in on Friday and opened it on Saturday morning. The first chapter reached out and grabbed me. I certainly needed to read it. So glad I didn’t just skim over your words about the book the way I sometimes do when I am hurried!!

  13. says

    I desperately need prayer in this area! I am so sick of the turmoil that is taking place within me that I am constantly being faced with in my relationship. The devil is indeed working overtime in my life and I need prayers of healing, strength and His wisdom to be able to deal with and handle the circumstances that I face. Only in God’s strength will I ever be victorious. Thank you for your prayers and how I would love the book you mention!

  14. Deanna says

    I desperately need prayer in this area! I am so sick of the turmoil that is taking place within me, and that of which I am constantly being faced with in my marriage. The devil is indeed working overtime in my life and I need prayers of healing, strength and His wisdom to be able to deal with, and handle, the circumstances in the manner in which God has commanded me. I also know that the only way that is possible is through God and His strength. Then, and only then will I be victorious. Thank you for your prayers!! And how I would love to get my hands on a copy of the book that you mention here! Thank you again! Blessings to you and yours!

  15. Sharon Butler says

    Dear Lysa,
    Before I had read two sentences of your wonderful devotional, I was printing it in order to read it again…and again…and………….!
    I struggle with this issue daily, because my husband is very judgmental, and his many physical ailments recently have contributed to his being even more so. I thank you for your presence in my life now–I took your “Made to Crave” class a couple of months ago, and now I am a faithful follower! May God bless you, your family and your ministry!
    In Christ, Sharon

  16. Nikki Vedilago says

    Dear Lysa,

    Your blog is such a blessing to me. This past year has been very difficult for my family. I’m asking for prayers for my 13 yr old son. His father has taken him and convinced him to not be a part of my life anymore. I’ve been struggling with so much hurt and anger. Most days I don’t even know how to cope. Thank you for your real words of wisdom and the prayers.


  17. says

    My “want to be mean” situation involves my in-laws. They are not Christians and have been very ugly to me over the past 2 years. I’m trying to be the bigger person, but it can be so hard…. Please pray for me and I will all of you.

  18. Cindy M says

    UGH.. Just read this..but no coincidence in the timing…I always feel like I speak another language to my husband and kids…they don’t see what I’m trying to say..I’m always feeling like I am explaining, justifying, defending.. I forget to let God be my Defender and that it is OK to just shut up. thanks for the post, and the blessing reminders. I need to stop ‘saving’ people from their actions or lack thereof.. but also learn how to live peaceably within myself when I do.

  19. Carlye says

    Thank you so much for your wonderful words. Please pray for my husband and myself. He is running from God and I have been the “semi spiritual” leader in our home of two little boys. I know God is bigger than this but sometimes the enemy attacking day in and day out really can wear a mom out. You are really GOD’s hand extended…..:)

  20. Sunshine says

    My family is divided because of pain, pride, and stubborn hearts. Please pray that we may all be softened and work through these difficulties instread of always adding to it. Thank you.

  21. says

    Dear Lysa,

    I identify with the things that you write, things in “unplugged” ” When I want to be mean too” just to name a few.
    I have been having relationship problems and I hate feeling a victim because I know I am much better than that. But you are right, words can hurt or heal & in these days when people can or choose to say hurtful things to you or about you. I am so tired inside that I feel my pets are my friends who love me unconditionally. Here I go again.. sounding like a victim. Sorry!
    I have many times wanted to enter your competiiton online but I realize that it is only for US residents. I am living in Australia and I follow you online. Thank you for the wonderful work that you do. When I read your work online, I am comforted that what I feel and what I go through as a woman is also felt by women around the world, and that includes you too, a Woman of God & Faith. It tells me that it is not just me going through the everyday sturggle of life as a woman, mother, sister, friend & wife. Thank you for having your work online for us all to learn, grow & be comforted. God Bless.


  22. Linda says

    After almost 22yrs of marriage I’ve learned a lot about myself. I guess that’s a good thing. But most often I’m not sure how to fix those areas that are in need of repair. And being the mother of five children doesn’t allow for much time for self-help.

    These past few months have been so emotionally difficult. I’ve been leaning on my husband tremendously for security. I want to know that I have first place in his life at all times. Ha! You know how that desire went unfulfilled. Because I become outwardly frustrated, he no longer shares the events of his day or his thoughts. Not that he was ever really a sharer, but he’s actually lying to pacify my anger. And now I don’t trust him at all.

    I’m uncertain what to do at this point. I kinda stumbled onto this page and have been comforted and challenged greatly! I am so grateful for your ministry of God’s word and the wisdom you write with. Please pray for me and my marriage that is not bringing much glory to the One in which it’s meant to represent.

    I will continue gleaning from your articles and posts today! Thanks so much!

  23. Stacy says

    This is very relavent to a situation that I am facing right now. Praying that God will help me to look beyond myself (which naturally wants to be mean in return) and to ask the question, “Is It Holy”.

  24. Kim says

    I have been married 29 years and have struggled through much of it.
    My daughter (youngest) has left for boot camp.
    My home does not feel like a home any more.
    I don’t know who I am and what I want to do with the rest of my life.
    I am considering separation.
    Needing prayer. Thank you for your very convicting words.

  25. Vanessa says

    Please pray for me I’ve recently had an old friend come back into my life that I have felt is taking advantage of me & other people around us. I’ve been feeling anger towards everything. Please pray for strength & get me back on track again thank you

  26. Leslie says

    I just finished reading your unglued morning mama message on InCourage-I think I’m in love with you (just kidding). I know poor behavior is not excusable, but just to know someone else has had those days comforts me. I think our enemy makes us feel alone and the only “awful” person, mother or whatever and we feel hopeless. To know someone else has struggled with the same issues helps others to look up to God and keep working on improvement. You brought tears to realize my sometimes out of control emotions are not just me and I’m not just the WORST human being.

  27. says

    God has been using your book “Unglued” as well as the daily Proverbs31 devotions to really speak to me and guide over this last month! About 14 months ago I walked away from a 6yr marriage that had left me broken to a point of what I felt like there was no complete healing from. However, God embraced me in the midst of my brokeness and nursed me back to spiritual health! One thing that I have dealt with over the past year is my attitude, and feelings and emotions that I have and get towards my ex husband. If he is a Christian he has fallen so far and is in need of desperate rescuing. I seek to return his hatefulness with kindness and to just prayed and recently in reading Unglued have learned that those that are “toxic” you have to just cut them off completly and that is what I have done. We have a son together, which is why there is communication even having to be done and which also makes the situation more strenous. I believe with all my heart God will get a holt of him. The one thing I have had to ask myself is have I truly forgiven this man, I know I’ve prayed for it and even asked him to fogive me, but did I mean it if I feel so much anger and hate in my heart when I just think for a sec of anything he has done to me?? Reading this blog that you wrote over 4 months ago really just set confirmation in my heart that all I need to do is stay focused on God and take my frustration and hurt to him and know that he will bring me through and to give it to him immedietly and to not let it take residents in my heart or mind. I have found so much peace with my emotions and want to to say Thank you for sharing your heart with us!
    I ask that you pray that God will allow me to show his love and grace from a distance to my ex husband and some how use that to draw him to the cross..thank you

  28. Jo Lynn says

    Dear Lysa – It is amazing to me how when we are in battles or tests how the Lord uses people we don’t even know to minister to us. My sister and I have had issues for the past 10 years. She nor any of her family live for the Lord and I believe the issues we get into are spiritual battles and I understand that however it always seems impossible to not defend myself and the lies and words spoken over me. I do realize it’s like speaking to a wall because they bounce right back and are never heard. The issues have actually arisen from her son and husband who are very mean and harsh and rude when they’re drinking. Her son cursed me with all of his might for no reason two weeks ago when I was visiting his Mom. He kicked me off her property and told me to never come back! Her and I have been in business together this past year and he told me I was not to deal with her in any kind of business any longer. Thus forcing me to have a closeout sale on our boutique as she wanted her money right away. This past week has nothing but emails and texts from her demeaning me, putting me down, condescending me and on and on. I just finally last night got to the point that I am exhausted. I don’t know how to respond anymore. I give up. I chose to NOT argue with her but every time I try to respond she takes it as another argument. I have been very careful with my words and read them over and over before sending them and even asked the Lord to “help me!” One time we went 3 yrs without speaking. It seems there is a constant clashing of our spirits and I’m sure it was because of her husband being atheist and his indoctrinating her and their kids against Christians. He hasn’t even spoken to his brother in over 30 years as he is a Christian/Pastor/Missionary. Please pray for us that “somehow” there can be peace. Even if it’s impossible for us to have the friendship we both desire, I realize it is impossible until she surrenders her life to the Lord due to the spiritual battles. God Bless You! Such perfect teaching through this and the one for 09/11/12!!

  29. Cynthia says

    HI Lysa,

    Thank you for shedding light when dealing with conflicts, disagreements, etc. My husband & I have been separated for 8 months (he is living in another state with the ex-wife before me). I have asked for divorce on grounds of unfaithfulness but he insist that he has NOT been unfaithful. I have “forgiven & released” him of everything he has done but he will NOT agree to end the marriage. He said that he is not giving up on me and our life together. I have caught him in many, many continuous lies and even have it on paper to prove it- but he says they still aren’t true-that it is “all in my head”. He abandoned me in another state where I have no family or friends with no money (closed our bank account), no job, cancelled my health insurance, had me evicted from our rental home, accused ME of having an affair and is even slandering my name by saying that I am abusing drugs, etc. I have not & never would do any of these things and it hurts deeply that my husband could be so devious. I am at my wit’s end and just want to end this nightmare.
    I’ve put my cares upon the Lord and am speaking the WORD over my life & situaton everyday (practically every moment). Please pray for me & any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you again!!

  30. Jeanne says

    I need prayer. I have been legal guardian of my 11, 12, yr old grandchildren for eleven years. Parents are back in their lives after seven yrs. Pray the court will not uproot these children and give them back to parents. The children are struggling with emotions of abandonment on mom’s part and dad’s absence on his part. Please send me a private email and I will go into further detail. This is prayer that really needs to be going upward. They know no other home than this one.

  31. Jeana Meadows says

    Please pray for my sister Andrea. We built a close relationship after virtually no contact for more than 17 years. Recently she moved her things into my home but vanished from my life once again, taking Bo clothes or anything. I haven’t heard from her in about a month and would really like prayer regarding this entire situation. Thank you & God bless. BTW- I love reading these devotions each day. Each one seems to always speak to my heart…thank you for sharing.

  32. tonya says

    please pray for my husband as well as me. after almost 20 years of marriage, i do not feel like i have a best friend, I feel like I have a best critic. i am overcome with fear that i will never have a marriage like God intended it to be. we don’t enjoy each other much, or do anything for our relationship. he is a good man, but just has so many struggles from his past that it affect our relationship and our 3 children. please pray for a breakthrough for both of us. it is beginning to affect my health from all of the stress, worry and anxiety. thank you

  33. Sophie says

    Please pray for my family, I feel like I am sconstantly failing to pray and more and more drawn further from God and I dont want to blame my husband because we are of different denominations but the devil is really trying me!

  34. Candyce says

    Please pray for me. I spent many hours on the phone getting reaquanted with an old memory, a man from years ago. Now, after over a month of endless hours on the phone, texts, and emails and promises of a visit at the end of October, NOTHING. (He lives in the Virgin Islands) I am crushed, confused, hurt, dissappointed, defeated, and on and on. I am 51 and never married and thought maybe this was the one. How can we share that kind of time getting to know eachother, laughing, crying, etc….and then he says nothing? He used to even call and wake me up each morning for work. Do I ask him? Do I just keep praying and try to forget about it? His actions, or lack thereof, seem so unfair. It seems to me that we all find time to do what is really important to us so I guess that is my answer???

  35. Rachel Randleman says

    Dear Lysa, My husband of 39 years and I are having a huge disagreement about money. I have been putting him on the prayer list at church in hopes that he will soften his heart in this matter. Sometimes it seems that he will never understand what it is that I have contributed to this marriage, unless we get a divorce and he has to pay me money for my half of what we own. I don’t believe in divorce and don’t want a divorce, but right now the situation seems a little hopeless for me. I have been very upset about the matter and will continue to pray for him. Please pray for me. I love your book “Unglued” and have enjoyed participating in the online bible study. Thanks so much for doing this. God Bless,