“She Really Matters” #Fighting the tendency of favoritism and cliques

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macylou

I felt invisible. I sat in a room full of chatty women, feeling out of place. Others were being greeted or engaged. I sat alone and unacknowledged. Regretting the decision to show up, I contemplated slipping out. No one would notice I surmised.

Introduce yourself, you’re not shy….my muddled mind reasoned. So I did, to the lady on my right and my left, and that’s as far as it went. Though this happened years ago in a professional business setting, I still remember that feeling of being all alone.

I left that event thinking women are catty. Had just one person smiled or included me, I wouldn’t have felt so dejected. I resolved that in the future, I would seek out the lonely soul in the crowded room and make her feel welcome, set her at ease, and make her feel special.

How do we get so caught up in ourselves that we can’t see the uneasiness or timidity of a sister? Why is our focus streamlined to bling and importance?  Why do we value some over others? Have we grown so insensitive?

I’ve often thought about the emotional damage that cliques can cause. When we advertise our girl’s night outings on Facebook, how does that make our sisters feel to know they weren’t invited? Is it possible God would want us to use discretion with our posts?

When committees are picked because of who we like to hang out with and not on the individual’s merits….how does that glorify God? When seeking to have relationships with only those who are highly respected or wealthy….how does that glorify God?

Over and over we see examples of Jesus reaching out to the outcasts, the lonely and the lowly. Repeatedly we see Him make the point that everyone matters and everyone has purpose. Even the little children were precious in Jesus’ eyes.

The bible gives us warning….

“But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.” James 2:9

Plain and simple, when we show preference to certain people, we sin.

Job tells us….

gorgeous daisy field with shallow DOF during sunset (plenty of copy-space)

We are all created equally….and God loves us each as if we were His only creation.

We dishonor God and mar our influence by picking and choosing who we deem worthy of our attention or company.

It takes Godly character to refuse getting caught up in favoritism. It takes a desire to please God and a resolve to be different.

Being left out or overlooked tends to make one withdraw. Our actions must never cause a sister to withdraw from fellowship.

Flowering Meadow

In God’s economy, everyone matters.

We must never underestimate the burdens of a sister who just wants a place to belong.

A simple word of encouragement or a welcoming introduction can fill an empty emotional tank, sending that lone soul on a cruise of uplifting sentiments for days.

As Christians, our reputations will only be as Godly or ungodly as our actions.

Tell me friend, will you be the one in your group to make a sister feel like she really matters?

“Taking A Slug At The Devil”

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what you are

We were just looking for a fun girl’s night out.  Some lighthearted merriment and laughs to escape the winter blues; however, a misunderstanding quickly escalated into a night of embarrassment and humiliation for the four of us.

We misconstrued an invitation, thinking we were all invited to an event when that was not the case. Though we tried in every way to cooperate and diffuse the situation, Satan did everything in his power to heighten it. When I asked if they wanted us to leave, I was reassured no; but from there we were privy to a round of rules and regulations cited for our benefit.

I get rules are a necessity to life and maintaining order, but when rules, passions, ideals, and money get in the way of how people are treated, well….I have to wonder if the man-made rules are pleasing to God?

And then it happened….when I tried to explain we were there just for fun and had no intentions of stealing ideas….the church card was pulled out.

You know the card….the statement made insinuating you’ve done something wrong, and how could you because you go to church?  It’s the churchy kind of statement laced with accusation and reeking with judgment?

It’s funny now that we sit back and have the whole picture, but it wasn’t funny the moment the offender threw the proverbial church card on the table.

I was new to this unjust trick from the pit, but one of my friends, a pastor’s wife, knew it well. On more than one occasion, she and her family have been slapped with this method of demeaning a person’s faith.

So how do we handle those who want to pull the “church card” whenever they feel threatened or offended?

First we recognize…..

We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.    Ephesian 6:12

ephesians

The chaos of the moment was orchestrated by Satan, not man. I am grateful for this truth because I can walk away realizing “the blindsiding” was definitely a move by the dark side.

Second….

We choose to love and show grace in spite of all things.  It doesn’t matter what was said or done, I can love regardless. And the reason I can is because I have a Father in heaven giving me the same grace and love.

Third….

Anytime you are known as a person of faith, you are going to be held to a higher standard so be on guard……don’t let the Lord down.

I sat there and prayed, “Lord, what would you have me do? You know our intentions were not evil, what should I do?”

Above the clatter of the moment HE whispered, take the blame, apologize, and show love.

Even when the church card is used by the world, going the extra mile in the kingdom of GOD is always worth the effort.

My friends and I did everything we could to remedy and handle the situation in a Christ like way.  In fact we went out of our way to do the right thing.

So let me encourage you friends, don’t walk away and let the Devil have the victory….step up to the plate and take a slug at the accuser of your faith….knock him out for the kingdom and stand tall.

Leave the world no reason to doubt that you are….what you say you are.

And always remember this…….

Satan is in the confusion, the chaos, the presumptions, the miscommunication, the misunderstanding, the intensity, the bewilderment, the disappointment and the failed expectations.

But JESUS is always in the regret, the humility, the sincerity, the love, the forgiveness and the restoration.

Don’t let someone else’s bad response keep you from doing good. #livefreeThursday http://tinyurl.com/q5hodkd @suzanneeller

So honored to be linking up with Suzie Eller for #livefreeThursday.