What have we done to be treated this way? Sometimes we alienate ourselves by putting our foot in our mouth (I’m definitely guilty of this one because nothing comes out the way I mean it). I am a passionate, Type A, kinda person. I care very deeply about people. Sometimes I come off as being critical instead of relating that I’ve been there and know where they are headed.
Other times it is not our fault; the enemy is dedicated to hurting us. He uses people to make us feel different, less than, unworthy, alienated, alone in an effort to get us to compromise our beliefs in God, loved ones, humanity, and even ourselves.
I’m sure none of us can even begin to count the may times we’ve been rejected, but I bet you’ve suffered from some of these scenarios:
- when you don’t have the biggest house or most expensive car because you don’t try to keep up with the Joneses – I personally don’t have time to try to keep up with social whims. I barely have time to keep up with my daily schedule! You are expected to be like everyone else climbing that social ladder, and if you don’t you are strange.
- when you are taken for granted – whether it’s your work for your home, working a career at home, or working outside the home, we often feel as if our hard work doesn’t make a difference. We complete task after task without acknowledgement or a thank you. Sometimes we forget one minor detail or job, make one small mistake, or burn a dinner, and we allow the enemy to make us feel like a failure, as if you can’t do anything right. We aren’t failures! We aren’t certainly not perfect, but if we are doing the best that we possibly can then we are appreciated and treasured in the eyes of God.
- when you are protecting people from a truth that could hurt them – For all of the times I have been belittled or misunderstood because of the choices of someone else…I have bitten my tongue, wanting to spout out the truth, but keeping it in to protect others. I take the brunt of the anger and frustration instead of letting the person take it out on the one who deserves it. Then that person is defended to the death. If that doesn’t make you feel like chopped liver, I don’t know what would.
- when you set standards and rules for how your children utilize media – Unfortunately, this one affects you and your children. You are all made fun of or ridiculed because you actually do your job of protecting your children from music, television shows, video games, etc that perpetuate all of the crimes and sins of society. I find it extremely ironic that the same parents who allow their children to have total access to media are the same ones who shake their heads and throw their hands up in anger over what is going on in this world when they watch the nightly news. We are told we are “sheltering” our children. No. We are protecting them. When controversial topics arise or we have life lessons about situations, we discuss them in a way that is appropriate for our children. They know about the evils of the world. But they are taught why they are wrong and the consequences of participating in them. They are told to stay as far away from anything that might tempt them as possible, because that is what God commands of us. It’s kind of like when you tell your children not to play with matches because they could cause a fire. You don’t then hand them a box of matches and say “have at it”.
- when someone makes fun of my children – You know how it is… We are the strange, “unsocialized” homeschoolers. My children are certainly not perfect and they have plenty of punishment stories to prove it, but they have been taught true socialization. They know it’s rude to speak when someone else is speaking. They are taught not to help themselves to something that doesn’t belong to them unless they’ve been given permission. They know to wait for invitations instead of imposing on others. They are taught to respect others’ property, privacy, and feelings. They are taught to live like Jesus did, to bring God to this world, not be of the world contributing to the cause of the enemy. They are taught God comes before everything else without exception. They don’t always follow it, but I try to encourage them to express themselves through the wisdom and knowledge we have taught rather than through immature, unintelligent toilet humor, curse words, and the like; to think before they speak. However, my children are the weirdos because they utilize their manners, aren’t obnoxious, don’t talk over people, keep their hands to themselves, and consider the Golden Rule. Talk about chopped liver…
- when you’ve outgrown partying and bragging about it – Remember the days when it was supposedly so cool to talk openly and proudly about drinking? And of course now you can’t go on Facebook at any time of day without seeing someone taking a picture of themselves and their drinking buddies. I’ll admit, unfortunately I succumbed to peer pressure and drank alcohol as a teen. However, I’m in my early 40s now. Even more importantly, follower of Christ, not just a fan. I haven’t had anything to drink since I rededicated my life to Jesus many, many years ago. I’d like to think people my age, a little younger or even older, would have outgrown this need to fit into the social scene. But unfortunately they haven’t. I’d like to think they found Jesus and have replaced their desire for alcohol with Him. However, one login to Facebook or Instagram and I see tons of drinking selfies. Not only that, but those same folks conveniently lose touch with you when they find out you don’t drink. You are a party pooper and a bore. You take your Christianity way too seriously. Here’s the moment when I’m probably coming off a little critical, but I know exactly what alcohol can do and I don’t want to see the tragedies I’ve seen happen to others. I care too much! Alcoholism runs in my family (80% of the population carries the gene mutation for addiction) and you have society shoving it down your throat. I’m not about to set an example for anyone, especially my children, that says it’s okay to partake of alcohol. God’s Word tells me to stay as far away from sin as possible so I am not a stumbling block to others. I won’t even get into the debate about whether or not the wine in Jesus’s day was alcohol or not or whether or not He actually partook of it. (Just because there is drinking in the Bible doesn’t mean it is acceptable to God. Murder is in the Bible, but He doesn’t condone it). Anyway, I digress…
- when your prayers aren’t answered – This is the hardest one for me, because I feel as if a prayer has gone unanswered and I don’t understanding God’s timing. However, I do know His timing and will are better than mine, so I just have to hang in there and keep following His lead. It takes a lot of trust, and it’s taken me 44 years to be able to trust someone that much. I still have a long way to go, though, because almost every day I feel weary and tempted to give up
This last scenario is the most difficult for me. In the first few I am simply fighting against what other people think. People are errant creatures, who have absolutely no control over my life or where I spend eternity, so as long as I know I’m obeying The Lord I really don’t care much about what other people think of me. However, it does hurt when people think negatively about my children.
Jesus was treated like chopped liver by His community, His disciples, even His own family, and even when He stood in our place on the cross. He kept His eye on what was important: the souls of man.
Let me encourage you not to lose sight of the face of Jesus when you are feeling left out, rejected, less than, unappreciated. You may not realize it at the time, but God is strengthening and preparing you for an even bigger and more important battle than popularity or a burnt lasagna.
To find balance in this area of your life, surround yourself with people who truly care about you, those who care for your spiritual well-being, those who don’t condemn you for our unpopular choices.
Hang in there! You are worth more than rubies to The Lord, and in the end that’s all that really matters!