You know that guy who takes his family on vacation and makes them visit weird attractions and museums?
I’m that guy.
Just three weeks ago I went with my family to the National Museum of Funeral History. As unusual as that may sound, it was my second visit.
Since a place like the Toilet Seat Art Museum is on my bucket list (it is an art museum), you’d think I’d visit any exhibit. Not so.
I would not visit the Museum of Broken Relationships. According to the curators, this traveling exhibit encourages donations as a way “to overcome an emotional collapse through creation: by contributing to the Museum’s collection.” It’s a lasting legacy of love gone wrong. (Sounds like a country song—but without the dog in a pickup truck.)
This museum may feel temporarily cathartic for those who contribute, but it sounds like a good way to dredge up an old wound and pick at it. (Sorry for the mixed metaphor. The museum may think I’m just expressing myself after breaking up with an English major.)
What’s the benefit for the museum visitor?
- Maybe it helps some people realize they’re not the only ones lousy at relationships.
- Maybe it makes them feel better about themselves.
- Maybe it’s where they take someone they want to break up with, hoping they’ll take the hint.
We’ve all experienced broken relationships. We’ve been hurt. And we’ve hurt others. But there’s a better way to deal with the hurt than charging admission to our wounds.
Forgive the other person. Or ask for forgiveness. Or both.
- “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).
- “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Col. 3:13).
Forgiveness doesn’t say that what happened is OK, but it keeps the hurt from controlling our lives. Nothing good has ever come from unforgiveness and bitterness.
Before Paul the apostle became a follower of Christ, he was a ruthless dude. He even called himself the worst of sinners, but when he came to Christ, he found forgiveness. He broke with the old life and wouldn’t look back.
“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14).
Why hold on to a broken past when a future in Christ is so bright?