Some one I love was slighted recently. It wasn’t done on purpose, but it happened nonetheless
The impact of the snub caused my friend to feel undervalued, unappreciated and lacking in worth. The group had not intended to be mean or inconsiderate. They just weren’t thinking what it meant to be kind. They failed to recognize the gift of inclusion and support of someone who had different interests and experiences than their own. Their conversation centered on topics my friend had no understanding or experience. Rather than attempt to include my friend, the group remained focused upon their own self-interests. Ultimately, my friend left the exclusive conversation with a feeling of dejection. I’m sure the group would not have wanted that to happen. As I already shared, they were just unaware of the effect of their insensitive behavior.
Has this ever happened to you?
It has to me…on both sides of the world and throughout my life. Being ignored and slighted can happen to anyone, at any age and at any time. And I believe, more often than not, it occurs without thought or consideration. Often, we are not fully aware of the impact of our words and actions upon others.
What I wanted my friend to know and to remember, as well as each of us, is that a momentary slight does not indicate the value of our worth. In addition, when another slight happens, and then another, and then another, and then, even another, they too, even when combined together in a big, messy pile of hurt, pain, shame, and rejection do not define us.
We cannot let the words and actions of a thoughtless, inconsiderate world pin us with the incorrect belief that we are unwanted, unappreciated, or unimportant. It’s not true.
We are not lacking.
Yet, this is what we may feel in situations involving exclusion, rejection or failure. We may feel let down by a faithless, disloyal, and discourteous world. If our eyes remain solely focused upon the insults and injuries we have suffered, we will fail to see the faithfulness, loyalty and care of our God.
For I know, that my God is faithful. He is loyal. He loves and cares for me, for my dear friend, and for you; even when we are snubbed or slighted. The challenges, setbacks and slights we experience are no fun. However, they are not our whole story. The plot line of our narrative rises in expectation of the return of our Savior and for the transformation of a rejected, broken-hearted world to one of restoration, joy and fulfillment. We cannot allow ourselves to become bogged down in the muck of inconsiderate thought or unkind behavior.
Paul wrote these encouraging words to the church in Corinth:
I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge—God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. 1 Corinthians 1:4-7 NIV
Our Savior does not snub or slight, instead we receive His infinite grace and kindness.
Our Savior does not reject, instead we are enriched by His presence in every way.
Our Savior does not deny our testimony and worth, instead our testimony is confirmed.
Our Savior does not withhold, instead He provides us with every spiritual gift.
Our Savior does not waver, instead we stand upon His firm foundation.
Our Savior does not condemn, instead we are blameless because of His sacrifice.
Our Savior does not exclude, instead we are called into fellowship and intimate relationship with Him.
We do not lack anything in Christ. We are not deficient.
We must remember this truth when something disconcerting happens and we feel left out, shut out, or denied. This slight is not our whole life story. In fact, as we reread Paul’s words, it is my hope that we embrace the truth of how blessed and capable we are in Christ. Christ is central to our life narrative.
The thoughtless words and actions of this world will have far less impact if we would but remember our true worth and identity in Christ and His love for us. We do not lack anything in Him. I pray that my friend feels the assurance and acceptance of our Savior’s love, blessing and fellowship. Future slights and snubs will come again. It is inevitable. For the majority of us, we are unaware of the effect of our words and actions.
However, our Savior is aware…all the time. My hope is that we center our heart response upon Him when we are hurt, lost, or rejected. By doing so, we will stand upon the firm foundation of His faithfulness and be enfolded in the lovingkindness of our God. This is important. Too many are striking back with harmful consequences because of the world’s rejection. We don’t have to. Our life story centers upon redemption and hope. We look in anticipation to the return of our Lord and Savior. And as we look to Him and find our worth and identity in Him; my prayer is that we show the world that it can find its worth, hope and life in Christ too.
After all, Jesus was snubbed and slighted too. He didn’t let these offenses change the transformative narrative of His story. We don’t have to either.
Photo by jillallyn of Flickr