I’ve been a Christian for over half of my life – shouldn’t I know better by now? I know that God isn’t a liar, so why do I live my life as though I don’t always believe Him? Why do I live as though I am destitute, when God tells me something very different? According to God, the same riches that He has given to Jesus Christ, are available to me.
I am a life-long people pleaser and it occurs to me that in my people pleasing, I am like a pauper standing on the road-side, begging for a scrap of something from other human beings. Love, acceptance, respect, friendship – all good things but when I elevate them above God’s opinion of me, I am stuck in a cycle of elation to despair.
When someone treats you badly, do you begin to view yourself as a devalued human being? Sometimes we disrespect others and sometimes we are disrespected. According to God, this is unacceptable and He doesn’t give us any exclusions or exceptions. We are to esteem others as higher than ourselves but too often, the opposite occurs. Here are some examples. A loved one or friend who fails to take the time to understand you and instead tries to change you, rather than valuing your unique gifts. Someone who blames you for their relationship problems with someone else. A jealous or insecure woman who judges or dislikes another woman, simply because of her appearance or bubbly personality. Someone who spreads lies and damages a reputation. A friend who is willing to accept kindness but does not reciprocate care or concern. A woman who is pleasant toward someone in front of her husband but at other times communicates disdain. A wife that is jealous or possessive and requires that her husband not show kindness to another human being. A group of men or women who exclude someone from their clique. How about the woman who treats another woman cruelly because her husband admires this woman? Teenagers – they can be crude and cruel and their jealousy toward another teen, can cause them to behave and speak in a horrible manner. Teasingly referring to body part size, facial features, hair, skin or clothing can send a young person into despair.
If you are capable of living out the “haters gonna hate” and then shake it off method, you are very fortunate. For others, these rejections lead to despair. Dear tenderhearted one, if you are in Christ Jesus, you will need to continually remind yourself of your identity. Your identity is in how God views you, not in how other people treat you. If you have trusted Jesus for the payment of your sins, this is what God says about you: you are no longer condemned, God adopted you into His family, God has given you an inheritance of spiritual riches, God showers you in kindness, God sees Jesus’ righteousness when He looks at you, you are His beloved and all of this gives Him pleasure. Simply put, you are very wealthy.
If you belong to Jesus, take the wealth of love that God lavishes upon you and then love others – just don’t make them an idol by elevating them above God in your life. If you have not made Jesus the Lord of your life, you must start there. With Adam and Eve, sin entered the world and God’s required payment for sin is spiritual death which is eternal separation from Him. Thankfully, God didn’t leave us there – He made a plan for us to be reconciled to Him. His Son paid the penalty on the cross, for your sin. All you must do to receive this salvation from spiritual death, is simply accept His gift to you. Place your trust in Jesus’ finished work on the cross.
God adopted me and this gave Him great pleasure. Ephesians 1:5