Monday, November 23, 2009


This summer I bought the debut album of an Irish rock group called The Script. My favorite song on the album is titled "Breakeven." It's an angsty song about a man who's taking a recent breakup a lot harder than his ex-girlfriend. She's happy, but he's still hurting. He laments, "When a heart breaks, it don't break even." Perhaps this song resonates particularly strongly with me because I've come to realize that love isn't fair. Sometimes relationships hurt us, and we may suffer while the other person is just fine. We may never be able to heal the scars or to "break even" by coming back to the place we were before we got hurt. Love isn't about what we deserve or what's fair.

I have received a handful of emotional injuries from which I may never fully recover in my lifetime. Most of these scars did not originate from any malicious intent but were simply by-products of imperfect people engaged in imperfect relationships. Within a loving Christian life, there is no way for me to demand retribution for the pain inflicted on me (both knowingly and unknowingly) by others. I have no power to break the hearts of those who have broken my heart. I can't get even. We can try to comfort ourselves with the idea that 'what goes around comes around,' but justice won't heal our broken hearts. Only love can do that.

I may not be able to break even, but through love I can move forward. When I hear a painful criticism or judgment from someone I loved replaying inside my head, I can remember the God, family members, and friends who love me in spite of my imperfections. When I recall the friend who turned on me unexpectedly, I can console myself by engaging even more joyfully in the many fruitful and rewarding relationships I have today. If I should find myself dwelling on the painful rejections that I have received in my life, I can turn instead to the Savior who loved me enough to lay down his life for me, the husband whose love is a remarkable constant in my life, and the people all around me who appreciate the contributions that I make to their lives. I cannot undo or eradicate the emotional injuries I have received, but the more love I give and receive, the less I notice the pain from those old wounds.

It can be hard not to want vindication when I get hurt. Sometimes I just want to stand up to the people who have hurt me and say, "See? I'm a beautiful and successful person! You should have valued me more!" I want to prove to them what a big mistake they made, as if they could admit they were wrong and the injury would just disappear. I've realized, however, that I cannot waste my life trying to disprove anyone who's ever hurt me. Instead of trying to demonstrate that I'm worth loving, I want to just get out into the world and love people. Maybe I would enjoy feeling vindicated, but I'd rather live so passionately that I largely forget that these injuries ever happened. I'd like to drown my sorrows in love and chase my insecurities away with an active and fruitful Christian life. I can't break even, but no heartbreak can stop me from continuing to grow in love.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

in the song he says "I pray to a God i dont believe in" Is he suppose to be saying something in this verse??
Do they know God exists but just dont believe? or dont believe he answers you??? I dont know! I really want to knoww!!!

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