My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? …
Sometimes I wonder how you can feel you are right where God wants you to be and yet feel so out of place. Feeling like an outcast is never easy. I would guess that most, if not all of us, have felt like an outcast at one point in our life.
One thing I have recently realized is the feeling of being left out among the body of Christ. If there is one place we should feel loved an accepted it should be among our fellow believers. But a lot of people don’t feel accepted or even good enough. They struggle with their love for God and the desire to be in fellowship with other believers, but find that acceptance may even be more difficult to find within the church than it is outside of the church.
I will admit that I could not see this point of view for so long, but I’m glad that God has opened my heart and eyes to this problem. As a church we open our hearts to the non believer and the successful Christian, but shut our doors on the ones that are kind of stuck in the middle. The ones who love the Lord with all their heart but they don’t have the life you have, or they don’t dress the way you do. It seems that our churches these days are either geared toward the non believer or helping leaders become better leaders, and in the mix we lose sight of so many people who are yearning to serve the Lord with the gifts the Lord has given them.
Today I understand the pain of what it feels to be a Christian who feels like a total outcast among their brothers and sisters in Christ. I understand the desire to run away from the problem because it is too painful, and quite frankly it makes you angry. But I don’t believe in running away from the problem. As fellow brothers and sisters in Christ I believe we are called to hold each other accountable according to His word. Running away will never provide us, or whom ever we are running from, the opportunity to grow in their faith.
I think as a body of Christ we need to realize the importance of every single member. Reaching out to non believers is good, but lets not forget our brothers and sisters in Christ. Every single one of us is blessed with a gift, it’s wrong to shut the door on a believer that is seeking to serve the Lord and His kingdom.
I think the feeling of being an outcast is a huge problem within the church today, and I refuse to bash anyone or even judge them because we are all sinners! However I feel the problem needs to be addressed. There are so many people who LOVE the LORD, and who attend a church, and feel that the LOVE they feel and the heart they have for the Lord is not good enough. So they leave the church. It’s a problem that needs to stop being swept under a rug and stop being over looked.
I just hope and pray that we can learn to soften our hearts and release the pride that is keeping certain believers blocked out from serving the Lord and their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ…
No matter what Christmas was for us in the past, it seems like every year it has the opportunity, and the possibility, to be something completely different and brand new. That’s what Jesus brought with Him as He was born into this world; He brought with Him a clean slate, a fresh start, and something brand new to our lives and to our faith.
Today I invite you to come and take this imperfect advent journey with me to discover the beauty of the good and perfect gifts God has given us through His Son Jesus. Let us journey together to discover what those gifts are, how we can receive those gifts, and most importantly the importance of being a good steward of those gifts.