"Attempting to please 'the world' will only lead to frustration and disappointment. Instead, commit yourself to pleasing the Lord. Live for Him, and experience an unexplainable peace that only God can provide." (from the Positively Inspires facebook page)
The quote above flitted across my facebook page the other day and I quickly shared it with my friends. Little did I know how it would taunt me in the coming days.
I have been "under the weather" the last few days with a respiratory virus. I think in times of sickness Satan can have his most fun in my psyche. I have coughed, sputtered, and sneezed myself senseless. Tired and depressed, having pressing work and not feeling like even doing the "have to" jobs, my mind has had too much time to dwell on poor, pitiful me!
I have been reminded again of just how much work I have to do to not be petty and hurt by perceived slights from those around me. My mind has roamed to times when I felt overlooked or ignored; I've wondered why some seem to always be the "golden ones" in any situation and most of us are just the "others." It seems that whether in the preschool, school years, the workplace, or even the church, there always seems to be the "teachers' pets." Some folks just seem to have the love of others simply because they are - they exist - that's it.
Don't get me wrong, in the church setting we are all loved and we know it. But that doesn't mean there is no favoritism among the body of believers, that's human nature. While looking for King Saul's successor, even the great prophet Samuel was reminded by God that he should not look at the outward appearance. I Samuel 16: 6 says, "When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, 'Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.'” God Himself tells us through Samuel that God had to remind Samuel that He sees what man cannot, our hearts. Therefore man fails and flails in his admiration for those around him.
" But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'”
So what should I learn from this? I need to not worry about the elderly gentleman who looks right through me, walking by me without comment, to heartily greet the person behind me. I need not ask myself, "what does she have that I don't? Is she prettier? Is she more humble, more of a servant?" I need to extend grace to all my sisters and brothers, coworkers, friends, family, everyone I meet when I feel slighted or ignored by them. And I also need to work at not ignoring individuals right in front of me because I have someone else with whom I need or want to speak.
Mostly I need to be secure that the One Who matters most sees me, acknowledges me, hears me, and loves me deeper than I can imagine and will never quit. He sees my heart and His love, perfect love, never fails.
Pressing On in Him,