6.25.2013

I have to be willing to do the same.

It is hard being left behind.  Excluded.  Left out.  It hurts to see a photo of an event on facebook, or a blog, and know that you were the only one not invited.  Discovering one of your close friends spending time with someone else when she never seems to have time for you can leave a painful sting.  Important events forgotten, personal trials ignored, hurt feelings overlooked.  No one desires these things, but they are a part of life.

Knowing the reality that we will be overlooked and forgotten is one thing.
Responding to that reality with godliness and maturity is quite another.

When do we overlook an offense, taking it only to the Lord?
When do we confront our brother or sister, expressing our hurt and need for him/her to be more attentive and thoughtful?
When do we take a hard look inside to examine our expectations to make sure they are realistic and attainable?
And when do we simply say, "Lord, this hurts, but it is not a sin issue, it was not malicious, and I just need to let it go and trust You to heal my hurt."?

Emotions are fickle things.
Unstable.
Ever-changing.
And they usually ignore logic and truth.

Yet we let them take over.  We let them control us.  And worst of all, we let them lead us into sin.

It doesn't matter why we are left off of the invitation list, why we are not included in a last-minute get together, or why we are not desired at a dinner party.  Short of screaming at us, spewing hateful words, or defaming our character, every single person on this planet is allowed to live their lives without ever including us in anything they do.  They are not in sin because they do not want us at their graduation party.  While we might FEEL left out or sad, that does not mean they maliciously sought to reject us.  And even if they did, we must remember that our identity is in CHRIST - not in how many wedding and birthday invitations we have hanging on our refrigerator door.

It is hard to be left behind.
It hurts to be overlooked.
It stings to be ignored and forgotten.

But our response has.to.be.better than fickle emotions - it has to be based on TRUTH.  The "why" of the rejection does not always need to be known.  Or understood.

"Trust the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."  Proverbs 3:5,6

Our own understanding is always going to look through the lens of emotion, past hurts, and assumptions based on our personal expectations.  But the Lord sees everything AS IT IS, and when we seek His wisdom, His knowledge, and His truth, all things will become clear.  They may not change, and the rejection may continue, but our perspective will be accurate - and our thinking will be managed by logic and truth rather than hurt feelings and dramatic, emotional responses.

Be ye holy as I am holy, says the Lord.

We sin against God every day, multiple times a day.  We reject Him, ignore Him, deny Him, and disobey Him.  And yet - He shows Himself long-suffering, patient, and compassionate ... even when we give Him absolutely nothing.

If I want to be holy like He is holy, and if I want to look like Christ,

then I have to be willing to do the same. 

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