I Don't Belong
By Jeff Klick
I sometimes hear the above sentence stated from folks at Hope, and even in my daily interaction with other believers who do not attend Hope. Or sometimes people will say something like, "I don't measure up to the people around here," or "I'm a second class citizen because I am not like everyone else," or "I'm not part of the "in group" or, "I'm not good enough to attend there," or a host of other similar ideas.
The truth is no one is part of the "in group" because there is not one. You will never be as spiritual as everyone else, because they are not even as spiritual as you have imagined them to be. They could not measure up to the standard that they are being told they have. There are no second-class citizens because we are all bond slaves of Jesus Christ and you can't get any lower than that! You are correct if you feel you are not like everyone else, because we are all unique creations of God and no two people, or families, will be exactly alike. No one is good enough to go anywhere near God, except those who are washed in Jesus' blood. So, in reality, we are all in the same boat. Sinners saved by God's grace!
I think the truth is that we have an enemy that lies to us. The devil hates us and wants to destroy us. When we entertain thoughts like any of the above views, we are listening to a lie. When we listen to a lie, we are not listening to the truth ... what a profound statement! The truth is that we are all "a work in process." God is working in each one of us and He will not fail, and He does not make junk. Entertaining lies will not help us grow up into the fullness of Christ.
When we compare ourselves with others the Bible states that we are unwise. We should imitate what is good in others, but feeling insecure or less worthy than someone else is an improper application. We are all slaves ofhrist and are required to take up our cross daily and die. Therefore, we have nothing to boast of, or anything to look down on anyone about. We are all struggling saints trying to walk on the highway of holiness aiming for the goal of pleasing our Lord and Master. Some believers will be ahead of us, and others behind, but the Owner of the highway is the key, not where we are on it that matters.
If we feel "left out" we should reach out. If we feel guilty or ashamed of something we are doing, perhaps we need to reevaluate the activity and repent if need be. If our Lord and Master is pleased with the activity then we will have no reason to feel insecure regardless of what others may think. As long as our activities do not cause another to stumble or present an appearance of evil, we are fine. If God is not pleased with something in our lives then we want to stop it and remove it totally from our lives as quickly as possible.
The Church is made up of unfit building material that the Master Builder is molding into a marvelous work of beauty. Each piece of a building is necessary even if the piece does not understand exactly how it fits. One piece is not more or less valuable than another piece; they simply have a different purpose in our Master's plan. Let's work on encouraging each other not comparing each other to some unreal standard. Let's work on helping each other press in to achieve everything that God has for us in His plan and work. Much time and effort is wasted in jealousy and selfish ambition in God's Church. Let's look at Him and quit looking at everyone else. After all, compared to Him we are all miserable failures that are simply saved by His grace and mercy, and therefore have no reason to boast or fear! We are to encourage each other not compete with each other. Let's run the race with endurance and help each other finish strong.