I got a lot of experience with this as a child. A strong desire to be well-liked did not fare well for a little girl in my neighborhood (i.e. me). Maybe you know the neighborhood of which I speak -- There was one girl, a year older than me and gorgeous in every sense of the word who had an older brother (who was, by the way, equally gorgeous). They pretty much ruled the neighborhoood. So the goal each afternoon while we played was always to be included in whatever it was that they might be doing. Which was not always, um, productive or beneficial. Also having a strong desire to please my parents', I was, as you might imagine, left out on more than one occasion.
And it hurt.
Because rejection hurts. In any form.
That's why I love, love, LOVE Ephesians 1. Because it says right there in the Bible that I am included. Look at this...
"And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation." Ephesians 1:13 NIV
Because Jesus Christ is the Lord of my life, I am His chosen and adopted child. I am included!!! And not only that, but He gave me a special seal that marks my inclusion!! And it's the Holy Spirit. Uh-huh! THE Holy.Spirit.of.God.
v14 "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory."
I'm just soaking it in. The realization that, if God's picking teams, He will pick me every.single.time.
Soak with me, won't you?
**Not sure you can soak there? Well, God's Word says that if we trust Him to clean us up (because, truly, who doesn't need cleaned up in her heart of hearts?), He will. In fact, that's the whole reason Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, came to earth -- to take the inevitable punishment for our yuck. So we wouldn't have to die. (The kind of dying that means being separated from God forever.) So when we believe in Him to clean us up and ask Him to, He does. That's where He becomes the Lord of your life and He starts leading the way. Now YOU are included too! Because you too have heard the truth. Want to know more? Here's a great link. Or shoot me an e-mail or leave me a comment.**