Doubt Month: Breaking Up is Hard to Do

January 13, 2010

Ever been dumped?

I dated my first girlfriend in high school.  Yes, we dated, the way old-fashioned teenagers used to.  Picture soda fountains and holding hands and poodle skirts…except it was nothing like that because it was the 90s.

She dumped me.  It hurt.  It kind of seemed like she kind of enjoyed dumping me.  After that, I had to find out if dumping people was as fun as it looked. So when the time was right, I dumped my next girlfriend.  Not really fun, as it had seemed, but definately better than being on the recieving end.  Most people break up the same way.  There’s usually some grievances aired and a lot of drama and of course, hurt feelings.

Breaking up is hard to do. 

Have you ever been dumped by a Christian?  What I mean is, have you ever been on the recieving end of a friend who’s formally, publicly giving up her faith?  I’ve been there a few times.  Actually, my wife and I and our friends have suddenly been getting dumped a lot lately.  It’s pretty tough to handle, a lot like a high school sweetheart telling you they’re in love someone other guy who’s a total weiner. 

It’s almost like you’re being dumped on behalf of Jesus. 

It’s different than watching those friends who just slowly grow apart from Jesus.  This is a cataclysmic event that seals the deal.  It’s over.  You’ll feel blindsided.  They’ll try to explain how it happened.  It’s usually just as dramatic as getting dumped by your sweetie.  Accusations are thrown around about truth and love and hypocrisy, and it’s a big awkward mess.  Jesus and I have heard a lot of break-up lines. 

See if you can guess which lines I’ve been dumped with, and which ones I’ve heard Jesus get dumped with…

“I’ve just fallen out of love.”

“I don’t feel like you’re really there.”

“The more I find out about you, the less I like.”

“You just aren’t who I thought you were.”

“I realized I’ve kind of been faking it, just going through the motions.”

“I just feel like I’ve grown up and I can’t relate to you anymore.”

“I just can’t love someone who would let that happen.”

“All of your friends are hypocrites.”

“It’s like I talk and I talk, and I can’t get through to you.”

“I don’t like your beard.”

“I hope we can still be friends.”

Yes, there are a lot of reasons to break up with me or Jesus.  However it goes down, it’s not easy to listen to a friend break up with Jesus.  It always feels like a personal attack, and their reasons for breaking up never seem that good to you.  Sure, Jesus has his quirks, but he’s a good guy, and I personally cannot picture what it would take to get me to leave him behind.  Then again, I can’t imagine why any girl would want to dump me either…

And what do you do afterward?  It is really hard to stay friends after you and Jesus have been dumped.  There’s a bond that Christians share that has been broken.

How do you recover?  Does the whole event make you question your own faith, or does it make you even more resolved as you withstand the onslaught of doubt?  I’m personally the type to lick my wounds when dumped by getting defensive and pointing fingers.  But they always bring up issues I have to deal with in my own mind eventually.

It seems hard for me to talk to Jesus right away right after we’ve been dumped.  It’s hard for us to decide who’s to blame. 

But soon, in your confused little emotional mind, you try to hatch a plan to win them back.  I thought I’d try to win back that girl who dumped me.  But it turned out she had actually found someone else before she made it official with me.  Jesus finds that to be the case most of the time with him too.  They’re always dabbling…

So how do you handle it – that really un-fun conversation when they tell you things have changed, they’re leaving Jesus behind?  What was their reason for the break-up?  Have you been able to woo your now non-Christian friend back?  Have you been able to remain friends? Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?