Posted: June 29, 2013 in Christianity, Influence, Thoughts, Words
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I often find myself feeling invisible.  I can walk through a store and pass people who stare right through me.  I get cut off while driving (often).  I walk through our church halls, and pass people who see me, but really don’t.  I think this last one saddens me the most.  Church is the one place I feel people should see me most.  Yet, often, I find the opposite to be true.

Many times I want to shout out, “Don’t you see me!?  I’m here, too!  When you look through me, I feel small and insignificant and worthless.”  I long to tell these people that I have something worth offering, and that I have a strong desire to be useful, too.

Yet even worse than feeling invisible, I get frustrated at church members who talk about people as if they aren’t there, can’t hear, or have no feelings.  My daughter had this happen recently during one of our Sunday morning services.  She hadn’t attended our church in a few weeks, but she came that day and was singing and participating in the service, when a woman in front of her said to the woman next to her, “That girl behind us has a terrible voice!”  Then they both laughed.  My daughter felt like they were talking about her, since she was the girl right behind them.  She was so crushed by their words and laughter that for the rest of the service she sat, refused to sing, and just hurt.  The mother in me wanted to tell those women off – but thankfully they were already gone before I had heard the story.

Church is the one place we should be safe from such hurtful things, yet often the opposite proves true, and it’s the place more people get hurt by fellow-believers.  This should not be!!  Why do we hurt each other?  Don’t we have enough issues with how we are perceived by the world?  How does hurting each other help bring people to Christ?  This brings to mind a Bible passage about this very subject.

But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.  With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh. (James 3:8-12, NASB)

Our tongues have the power to hurt or the power to heal.  The words of one woman hurt my daughter – so much, in fact, that she doesn’t really want to come back to our church all that much.  We need to be careful of the words we say.

What makes me sadder about other people saying hurtful things, is that I am sure I have said or done things that hurt others or made them feel invisible, too.  I wish I could say that weren’t true, but I am sure I have.  This is something that I’ve been working on in earnest.  Matthew 12:33-37 talks about how our words show our true character and how we will be justified or condemned by our words.

Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. (NASB)

My tendency is to speak before I think sometimes.  These verses challenge me to think more about what I’ll say before I say it.  I don’t want to be judged by bad things that come out of my mouth.  These particular verses have helped me to be able to curb my impulse to use bad language or say hurtful words.  I don’t get it perfect, but I see improvement every day as a result of learning these verses.

I can’t tell my children or anyone else to love others if I am not loving others myself.  I have to set the example.  And to love others means I need to see them, listen to them and treat them as Jesus would.  It’s a tall order, but I have a feeling it will be well worth the effort.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.  What are some practical ways we can go from treating people as if they are invisible to loving them as Jesus loves us?  Have you taken any steps toward this end?

~Until Next Time,

Karen Signature


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