How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop? Every kid knows the correct answer is, “Who cares? I’m eatin’ a tootsie pop!” (Or approx. 364 according to a Purdue University study – people actually got a college degree for that – Whaaaa?)
Offense is like a tootsie pop (stay with me here – haha). We have to get to the heart of the matter to win over this. What is at the heart of offense? Rejection – we’ve experienced it before, and we assume that whatever we’re experiencing now is simply a déjà vu. We have placed in our soul a picture that we are easily rejectable, and therefore simple matters take us to that spiral.
Here’s the win. You are accepted. The deepest part of God’s being stands behind this promise, “My soul will not reject you.” (Lev 26:11 NASB) Paul declared to Roman believers, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (Rom. 15:7 NIV) If Christ has accepted you, you can’t be easily rejectable.
Say this about yourself right now, “I am accepted by Christ, therefore, I accept others.” That’s the first lick. Now envision yourself accepting others. That’s lick number 2.
Then repeat. How long? The answer’s not 364, or even 70 times 7 (see Matt 18:22). So how many licks does it take to get to the core of offense and win? The correct answer is “Who cares? I’m eatin’ a tootsie pop” = Until the rejection and offense melts completely (i.e. as long as it takes :-)). Here’s the fun part – every lick is sweet. Enjoy the journey. You’re accepted.