When Andrew got ready for work one Friday
morning, he announced to his wife that he finally decided
to ask his boss for a salary raise. All day Andrew felt nervous
and apprehensive as he thought about the upcoming showdown.
What if Mr. Larchmont refuses to grant his request? Andrew
had worked so hard in the last 18 months and landed some great
accounts for Braer and Hopkins Advertising Agency. Of course,
he deserves a wage increase.
The thought of walking into Larchmont’s office left Andrew
weak in the knees. Late in the afternoon he finally mustered
up the courage to approach his superior. To his delight and
surprise, the ever-frugal Harvey Larchmont agreed to give
Andrew a raise!
Andrew arrived home that evening-despite breaking all city
and state speed limits-to a beautiful table set with their
best china, and candles lit. His wife, Tina had prepared an
exquisite meal including his favorite dishes. Immediately
he figured someone from the office tipped her off!
Next to his plate Andrew found a beautiful lettered note.
It was from his wife. It read: "Congratulations, my
love! I knew you'd get the raise! I prepared this
dinner to show just how much I love you. I am so proud
of your accomplishments!" He read it and stopped to
reflect on how sensitive and caring Tina was.
After dinner, Andrew was on his way to the kitchen to get
dessert and he observed that a second card had slipped out
of Tina’s pocket on to the ceramic floor. He bent forward
to retrieve it. He read: "Don't worry about not getting the
raise! You deserve it anyway! You are a wonderful provider
and I prepared this dinner to show you just how much I love
you even though you did not get the increase."
Suddenly tears swelled in Andrew’s eyes. Total acceptance!
Tina’s support for him was not conditional upon his success
The fear of rejection is often softened
when we know someone loves us regardless of our success or
failure. In my experience as a pastor, the strongest encouragement
I receive is from the love of our Heavenly Father. As long
as I am faithful to do my best, God stands behind me no matter
what happens. He will not condemn me for my mistakes or failures.
Quite the opposite! He heals my wounds and enables me to make
another run for it in the very area where I experience defeat.
Another display of the Lord’s acceptance is when He touches
me through positive support from my wife.
We can undergo almost any setback or rejection if we know
someone else loves us. The first place to start? Begin by
discovering the unconditional mercy and compassion of our
loving Heavenly Father as shown in the gift of His Son Jesus.
"We love because He first loved us" (1John 4:19 NIV).