After They’re Done With You (Part 3)
But instead of apologizing or offering an explanation that would make you feel less slighted (something like, “I’m trying to finish my dissertation by a midnight deadline.”), your date’s flippant, matter-of-fact response makes you feel even smaller than you already did.
Last week, I encouraged you to see a first date rejection like this for what it is: the judgment of someone who doesn’t even know you. (Imagine a teacher giving you an “F” on a paper they never read. It’s still an “F,” but one without any true bearing on your paper’s merits.)
Unfortunately that doesn’t change the fact that you’ve been wronged. What are you going to do about that?
Well if you want to go on to live a healthy, whole life; one free from accumulating emotional baggage like bitterness and cynicism, you have to forgive those who hurt you. Ooo. Not what you wanted to hear? Fortunately for you, not only have I had some experience with rejection (something I’m right proud of if you couldn’t tell), I’ve actually written a small book on forgiveness, called Forgiveness 101.
Here’s an object lesson I share in the book that may help you understand your need to forgive everyone from your Father to your most recent failed first date. The analogy is going to take you back to your childhood, but we won’t pull out the puppets. Just band aids.
A band aid. A band aid made it all better, didn’t it? Especially if it had your favorite cartoon character or super hero on it.
Scientists are still hypothesizing, but moms already know the answer. Quite simply, a band aid hides the wound. You can’t see the cut anymore and think, “Oooo. That looks yucky.” Instead, you look at the place where your cut use to be and you see Mickey’s smiling face, or Batman’s confident pose. Makes you feel better just thinking about it, doesn’t it?
But, if the cut was deep enough, before applying the band aid, your prudent parental unit would pull out a cotton ball and the alcohol or some other ointment.
NOOOOOOOOOOO! Bad news! That was going to make it hurt MORE!
Why do moms and school nurses want to hurt you more? Are they sick in the head?
No. They know, though the ointment will sting – maybe a lot – it’s often necessary to clean the cut and prevent infection.
Sometimes a band aid isn’t enough. It might make you feel better, it might hide the wound, but if you put a band aid on top of a dirty cut you’re going to be hurting more later. Better to hurt now and clean out that cut, because in the end, the goal isn’t to stop the pain – it’s to bring the healing.
Do you still bear heart wounds from your past? Forgiveness is the ointment made to cleanse and disinfect that hurt.Like ointment in a cut, it stings. In fact, sometimes applying forgiveness actually makes you feel the wound as much as when you first received it. Sometimes it makes you feel even worse, but in the end it brings healing.
If the above made any sense to you at all, let me give you a gift: the entire book for free. In addition to helpful insights like the band aid analogy, this book presents five Biblical realities to set you free to forgive. Just send me an e-mail asking for Forgiveness 101 and I’ll send you a free PDF copy.
First date FAILS are no fun, but if you won’t forgive you can’t be free. It’s a painful, but simple truth. Let’s pray for each other to have the strength to walk in it.
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