“Feeling Left Out?”
“…we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
Though it’s clear in many Scriptures like the one above (not least of which, 1 Corinthians 12) that every Christian has an integral part to play in the church, many still feel left out. We know that, in Christ, God has joined us together through faith and that these feelings of exclusion are out of step with the fellowship we share in the faith. So what are we to do if we still feel like we don’t belong? The answer Scripture gives is to take initiative and act.
If you feel left out, ask yourself the following questions:
When it is announced that someone is sick,
- Do you: Send them a card, a text, an email, a phone call? Offer to help in some way? Go and visit them?
- Or do you: Pay no attention? Forget them as soon as they are mentioned? Not even know the person being mentioned?
When you think we don’t get together enough,
- Do you: Invite Christians into your home? Plan and carry out activities for other Christians?
- Or do you: Wait for someone else to do something about it?Complain that no one is doing anything about it?
When a person becomes a Christian,
- Do you: Invite them over to get to know them better? Organize a study to encourage them? Pray for them?
- Or do you: Wait for someone else to do these things? Complain when the new convert shows signs of weakness?
When the church doesn’t seem friendly,
- Do you: Go out of your way to greet guests warmly? Greet members you don’t normally talk to? Make efforts to get to know members you are not close with?
- Or do you: Wait for others to do something about this unfriendly spirit? Complain no one is friendly to you?
When Bible classes seem dull & unimportant,
- Do you: Make sure you are attending each class? Come prepared to make discussion and ask questions? Dig into the lesson to make the most of it?
- Or do you: Not show up for class? Come to class but never contribute with questions or comments? Complain that the class is uninteresting and not challenging?
When a member misses the assembly,
- Do you: Find out what is going on? Check up on him regularly? Make sure he has a ride to the assembly?
- Or do you: Complain about his weak faith? Gossip about him to others? Not even notice he is missing?
If you feel left out, perhaps the first thing you should do is look inward instead of outward (2 Cor. 13:5; Mt. 7:1ff). Waiting for someone else to do something about it only perpetuates the problem; complaining behind closed doors or bickering to others only makes things worse. If you notice things are not the way they should be, take initiative and be the agent of change.
If you feel left out, get to work and you will quickly find your place. Souls need saving, classes need teaching, events need planning, the sick need visiting, saints need encouraging, prayers need leading, hearts need comforting. There is work to be done and we all have our role. We each find our place when our faith is working together through love (Gal. 5:6).