People who’ve been burned are sensitive and guarded. With good reasons.
- Having a bad sunburn
- Touching a hot stove
- Spilling hot water on yourself
- Grabbing a hot handle
- Touching hot coals or embers
There’s an adage, “Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me.”
People who’ve been hurt are careful to not let it happen again. We learn to wear oven mitts, use the fireplace tools, and apply the sun screen. Do we also learn to avoid people?
When a friend hurts us, when a spouse betrays us, it’s brutally hard to forgive. We learn to keep our guard up and to watch our backs. We become good at it.
Jesus didn’t act defensively. He wasn’t foolish or unaware, he just didn’t change who he was or what he was about because people didn’t like him. He went on doing what he did, being who he was, and going forward with his life. Yes, they ultimately succeeded in killing him, but it was his choice to let them.
No one likes being rejected or betrayed. It leaves us vulnerable, feeling foolish, and second guessing our judgment. Yes, its wise to be careful. But getting hurt isn’t the end of our lives.
If we can, we should allow ourselves to heal, to grow stronger, to find God’s grace to reengage. Not everyone will hurt us, in fact, most people won’t. We need to give them a chance.
We weren’t born to be an island, but made to be in community. Give it a try, don’t give up, and God bless you.