I read a Facebook post by a Christian encouraging other Christians. . . it essentially said, “If you are left out of a get-together, don’t be offended. Some people want to hang out with other people. When they do, don’t be insecure about it. . .”
Something about the message didn’t sit right. Maybe it was because I was the ‘new person’. . . Maybe it was because I desire new friends. . . Maybe it was because I supposed the writer of it had a million people she was hanging out with. . . meanwhile, sad-people were left at home. The idea of it hurt me a little.
Not wanting to think too much about it, I navigated off that Christian webpage. I landed on my Facebook feed. There. I saw all sorts of secular posts.
One caught my eye. A woman wrote something like, “No matter where you are, remember there may always be someone who feels left out. . . be sure to include them. Think of them. Remember, that could be you. . . ”
Something like sadness filled me. Why is it the non-Christian post is more grace-filled than the Christian-post? And, how often is this the case?
I just sat there staring at the screen.
How often do I proclaim Jesus, but when push-comes-to-shove, or when the-rubber-meets-the-road — I don’t show Him? Instead, I seek my own convenience. I push my own agenda. I want what is good for me. . . I cause division rather than unity.
I am just as guilty as the Christian-writer I judged.
But, I don’t want to remain this way. I want to be the real-deal. I want to be pure and true. I want to be honest and inclusive. I want to think of the least of these.
God, help me.
I’m not sure I’m there yet. But, I want to be. For to be this way, is to be like Jesus. It is to be a magnet for those: seeking love, desiring more, wanting to be included, hoping to be seen as they are and wishing they were wanted. It is to be like Jesus, who died with arms wide-open.
It is to resurrect faith in each other. It is to see people for who they are and to love them anyway, unconditionally.
“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.” (Eph. 5:1 NLT)
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Thank you so much for this spiritual lesson. Yes, I am thankful I received the link to this blogpost in my mailbox.
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation with which you are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.But to every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. (Ephesians 4)
Let’s following Him (also on social media)
Thank you Kelly. I really felt God speaking to me through you just now as I have been guilty of excluding a specific family member at home, my elderly mother-in-law, who lives with us. She has moderate Alzheimer’s so sometimes she can be unbearable, other times fine, but God only knows when. So I take the easy route, in order to prevent the Alzheimer’s beast from waking up, and keep my daily conversations to a minimum as her condition causes her to blow up at little things. My actions have caused her to feel left out in our own home. I know I haven’t been Christlike and I have been selfish, but I also know things need to change in me.
Amen, Amen, Kelly! Jesus didn’t keep telling his disciples who He was, He showed them by the time they spent in his presence. I need to reflect Him versus only talk about Him.
I think my reaction to the Christian article was about the same as yours and I think it speaks to some blind spots among our brothers and sisters. It happens many places (even in our churches) when a new person comes in.
God bless you for your heart’s desire to be an extension of Jesus to others. It really touched my heart when you said that Jesus “died with arms wide open”. I never thought of it that way. Yes, I know that He died for the sins of the whole world (1John 2:2), so He included everyone…but I never thought of the actual physical position of Him on the cross as showing His all-inclusiveness. That’s really beautiful. Thank you for sharing that!
Yet is a long word…we never fully master any of this on this side of heaven, but having the goal is worthwhile.
When Christ is in us, we don’t act like Christians we become Christlike. So much of the problem is the acting instead of being.
I needed to read this today especially this part – “It is to resurrect faith in each other. It is to see people for who they are and to love them anyway, unconditionally.” I have a hard time having faith in other Christians because being left out seems to be common. Pray that I can forgive, please.