Whenever my children are in a situation when others are not behaving properly, or when feelings (or bodies) get hurt by someone else, my response is “Now you have learned why you should never behave/treat another person that way. Remember how it made you feel so that you never make someone else feel like that.”
This is just the lesson I need to apply to my latest inner conflict. How does it make me feel when others are so caught up in their close-knit relationships that they forget to include me? How does it make me feel when I make an intentional effort to get to know them and the effort is not reciprocated? It hurts. As my son so wisely said at age 6, “It makes me hurt way down inside.”
I feel guilty about the pain too. Is this a self inflicted pain? Is my desire to be accepted by people so great that I get hurt so easily? Shouldn’t Christ be filling this desire? Shouldn’t all offences just roll off my back since I am a Christian? You can see where this goes. I just begin to rip myself apart for feeling this way.
Yesterday, Yielded made an excellent point in a comment to my Good vs. Evil post. She said “…I always have to make a decision to be selfless…” This is the truth. Although it is not easy, it is Christ’s way. No matter how I feel, I need to treat these people how Christ would treat them. So when the efforts to get to know them are not reciprocated, I will continue to make the effort. When I begin to focus on my feelings of separation, I will make a concerted effort to REfocus on the people involved, rather than simply shutting down and being hurt.
My feelings of guilt, the questions I throw at myself, are accurate. I am not in Christ when I embrace the hurt rather than taking the high road and viewing these people through Christ’s eyes.
And here’s the big question…Do I ever treat other people this way? When I get with a group of close friends and someone new is there, am I making an effort to warmly welcome the new person? I do try, but can think of some times that I have not. Ouch. I have probably made others feel this same way.
Thank you, Lord, for using my pain to show me where I need to change.