The plastic seats were green. The desks a dirty beige. The perfect pale color to make pencil marks easy to read.
That’s how I saw what was making the group of girls in front of me laugh. They looked at me and then added to Jennifer’s desk art: a frizzy-headed stick figure with huge buck teeth and crazed eyes. I knew even before I saw the name scribbled, she’d drawn me. Me. An awful caricature of me.
It’s been years since I sat at that dirty beige desk. But it hasn’t been years since I’ve had those same feelings of rejection and hurt. Of course, they aren’t from girls drawing pictures. But meanness hurts, no matter what age and how it’s delivered.
You can take girls out of middle school but you can’t take the middle school out of some girls.
If you’ve been hurt in this way, you know what I’m talking about. If we’re a stuffer type person, we want to withdraw and get away from the source of our hurt. If we’re more of an exploder person, we want to attack back so they’ll feel as bad as we do.
But here’s where things get a little complicated. Jesus flies in the face of conventional wisdom and says for us to “love our enemies” and “forgive as the Lord forgave us.” Seriously?
Something deep inside us whispers, “Don’t you dare love this person. And certainly don’t forgive them! This situation is the exception.”
Let the internal battle begin.
But what if I were to assure you that Jesus isn’t being cruel or naive in His commands for us to love and forgive? He’s actually showing us how to get free from the long term affects of being hurt. When we’re wounded we have a choice. We can either pursue healing by extending love back, or, we can refuse healing and allow the “rejection infection” to set into our wound.
If you’re wondering how to do this from a godly perspective, I’ve put together a free resource called “3 Things to Remember When It’s Hard to Forgive.” You can download it for FREE by clicking here.