Thursday, December 15, 2016

When You Feel Unpopular, Unnoticed, and Unwelcome

Growing up, I was not part of the popular crowd.  I wasn't athletic or gorgeous or particularly talented.  I graduated and went off to college and felt like an outsider there too.  I went to a small Christian college that had a long history and many students were part of well known families.  No one sought me out for my company and much of the time, I felt like I was on the outside looking in. I came from a broken home with a single mom.  I wasn't part of the "in" group.

As an adult, I still feel that way from time to time.  I see people who have a personality that others seem to gravitate to immediately.  They always have a group of followers and seem to be well-liked and popular.   

It usually doesn't bother me any more because I'm fairly confident at this stage of my life.  However,  periodically I'll feel left out of conversations.  Or as if I'm just tolerated.  I'm not sure if anyone would even notice or care if I'm not around.  It's also probably the reason that in our ministry, I've always tried to be sensitive to others around me and include those who look like they are being excluded.

As I read God's word, I also realize that often He chooses the weak, the outcast, the unpopular, unnoticed and unwelcome to do His work.  Can you imagine if Jesus only came to hang out with the popular people? 

God chose a unknown teenage girl to be the mother of Jesus.  Before this event, Mary was unknown.  The disciples were a rag-tag bunch of men and most had jobs that weren't respectable for that day and age.  Jesus sought out people who were considered outcast.  He hung out with tax-collectors and sinners that the religious establishment as well as respectable people hated.

Maybe you are feeling like an outcast today.  Do you feel unpopular, unnoticed and unwelcome?  Guess what?

The Lord notices you.  He wants a relationship with you.  He welcomes you with open arms.  It doesn't matter who you are, what you've done, where you are from.  Don't despair.  In God's kingdom, there is no popularity contest. 

He loves you!  He wants you!  He welcomes you!  And that is wonderful news.