Overcoming Failed Love

Overcoming Failed Love
   Ah, February: the love month. For the last several weeks, the stores have been full of candy hearts, stuffed bears, and chocolate covered roses. But now the big day is over. What happens to love now? And what if love didn’t meet our expectations? In fact, what if we were hurt, slighted, overlooked?
   We did not need one holiday for that. People, it seems, are getting hurt and offended constantly lately. One person’s t-shirt offends another person’s beliefs. One person’s statements after winning the big game are so offensive that a network refuses to broadcast them. And some people are so offended, they are lashing out until the source of their offense is afraid to leave their dorm room.
   We can make it more personal too. We have all heard or said these kinds of statements. One is “she really hurt my feelings when she said ____.” Another is “I wonder what he meant by that remark.” A third is “I am so hurt, I am never going back to church again.” What do we do when it seems like love fails?
   Well, first, go to the one who hurt you and talk it out. “Jesus said, ‘If your Christian friend has done something wrong against you, you must go and speak to him’” (Matthew 18:15 EASY). Many times “offenders” don’t know what they did, and reconciliation can take place immediately. As the verse continues, “then you can call him your friend again.” If not, at least you made your voice heard, but when you make your voice heard, it is best not to do it in an accusatory way. Be sure to have your emotions under control before you go so that you can talk calmly (and keep that frying pan out of your hand!).
   Second, don’t go to everyone else with your hurt. The middle of this verse (Matthew 18:15 CEV) says, “Do it in private, just between the two of you.” So often we tell twenty other people how much we were hurt before we tell the one who hurt us. I guess we hope to get some pity or some folks on our side. But gossip doesn’t solve anything. It just makes the division wider and the hurt deeper.
   Last, go to the One whose love never fails. Jesus was the most maligned, hurt, misunderstood person of all time. Yet He said, “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:24 NIV). With His help, you can do the same. Take your hurt to Him in prayer and ask Him to help you to forgive the offense.
   John 1 tells us God is love. The omnipotent power of the Almighty placed in the velvet glove of love, combined with an omniscience that knows what is best for us, is a sure thing. There is no way we can fail if we keep ourselves in the palm of His hand.
-Holly Pentz, New Covenant Assembly of God, 1270 Pinchtown Rd., Montgomery, PA 17752