Let’s talk about being left out. Not a super fun topic, but I think almost all of us have had some experience with it, right? Picture this: It’s Saturday evening & you head out to a restaurant to pick up some takeout because your big plans for the night are eating at home in your pjs. You walk into the restaurant to pay for your to-go bag & you see 4 of your friends at a table in the corner mid-meal laughing together. You’re standing there in your sweatshirt & yoga pants wondering why you didn’t get an invite. What the heck!? They’re all hanging out together without you? No one thought to shoot you a text about this meet-up? What are you feeling?
If I had to take a guess, some of these emotions probably rank in your top feelings about this situation: sadness, anxiety, anger, general hurt feelings, confusion. You know what causes all those emotions in this instance? Being a human. But do you know what the deeper reason is? Pride. We feel entitled to be invited & included on certain things. We have certain ideas about when & how we should be included. But we shouldn’t. Pride is often an ugly thing that causes us nothing but heartbreak. But it’s human to have those feelings. It often is a knee-jerk reaction that we can’t entirely avoid. But we can work on it & remind ourselves that the Holy One never forsakes us or excludes us!
In 1 Samuel 12, Samuel is talking to the people & reminds them that even though they have done evil, it’s not too late & that they shouldn’t give up following the Lord. Then he reminds them all the great & wonderful things God has done for them:
“‘Do not be afraid,’ Samuel replied. ‘You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. For the sake of His great name the Lord will not reject His people, because the Lord was pleased to make you His own,'” (1 Samuel 20-22 NIV).
The same applies to us– even though we react to situations with sinful responses like pride, anxiety, & anger, He continues to love us. We will never be excluded from his power, grace, & mercy! We never have to worry about being completely abandoned or ignored, even though worldly things can make us feel neglected. Seeking the approval or inclusion of others won’t serve us. I think we generally know this, but we need to be reminded of it.
And can we talk about how awesome it is that it’s RIGHT THERE in 1 Samuel that God is “pleased to call [us] His own!?” His own. That implies an intense belonging, doesn’t it? But it’s true! We belong to the Lord, yoga pants & all.
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