Originally published Thursday, 22 January 2015.
Tears welled up in my eyes. I felt hurt.
I saw the fun.
I saw the laughs.
I saw the friends.
I wasn't there.
I wasn't invited.
I was left out.
How do we cope when Facebook hurts? Because frankly, people open their lives up like books and sometimes we read into things only to feel left behind or insulted.
How do we overcome the laughs we weren't a part of?
How do we get past the offensive words?
How do we move forward in love, when we feel hurt?
How do we let go of annoyances?
These were all things I struggled with as my heart broke a little.
I guess for me, it wasn't just this person that hurt me, but it was all the little ways I saw I wasn't being included.
I felt left out of the pictures, the recap comments and the moments. I saw the smiles. I saw the joy. I saw the fun.
Where was I? How could they leave me out?
The small offenses all rushed over me.
But, then I got to thinking - have I really been pursuing others?
Because, no one is going to invite you into relationship if you aren't available.
No one is going to welcome you to laugh, if you never welcomed them into your house.
No one is going to remember you, if you let the busyness of your day steal the good intentions of your heart.
I am so busy.
These Facebook pains walk me right up to truth -
the Lord loves relationship.
They also remind me that I can't control what others do. They can do what they do, but God will always be here to help me through. People will hurt me. They will abandon me. They will drop me at the door. They will write things that offend. They will insult too.
But, we can find refuge in the Lord. We can seek his ways. So can you. Let's open up to take risks, because we are kept under the safety of his wing - kept close, like a protected child.
Under his protection, he will show us how to act.
He will instruct us in truth.
He will arm us with the right mentality.
He releases us from the power of others' insulting actions, so we may find freedom in the power of his unending love.
Frankly, we all offended Jesus. We actually offend him daily. We insult, we overlook, we leave him out.
But, does he stop loving us? Does he stop pursuing us? Does he still call us into relationship?
We prompts us to extend grace, just as he has.
So, let's remember:
1. We are who Christ says we are. Our identity is secure in Christ, not dependent on Facebook.
2. We can't expect to be pursued when we are not pursuing relationship.
3. People are quick to speak and slow to think. We can be like this too.
4. Jesus shows us unending grace; we can fall into his grace to extend grace.
5. If we can let go of how others act on us, we can grab hold of how Christ wants us to act to others.
6. The more we keep our eyes - and heart - on what is true, noble, upright and of good report, the more peace and joy that will be ours. Offenses lose their power.
The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:31)
Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31)
It strikes me that we can let go of insults, injury and inadequacies, when we grab hold of truth, God's truth.
Because, truly, there is only one book that defines us - and it's not Facebook.