Thursday, May 26, 2011


 I was a twenty-something girl standing between several clothing racks.  I could not get the attention of the sales girl, yet she ran to the attention of other women entering the department.  It wasn’t the first time I had to hunt for someone to help me in this well-known department store.  I concluded I look too simple for her to give me the time of day.  Maybe I didn’t look like someone who had the possibility of boosting her daily commission.  Maybe I was invisible.
Sitting in an in-service among other social workers, we were discussing the labels we put on others.  A woman my senior, whom I considered classy and an intelligent role model, coincidentally told her own story of being ignored numerous times in the same department store.  She was certain the salesgirls ignored her due to the color of her skin.
I stirred in my seat, could we both be wrong?  Is it possible we both projected our insecurities and self image upon strangers?  In hindsight, the lack of attention from sales people did not mean we were simple, invisible, or the wrong skin color.  Instead their lack of attention revealed more about their lack of customer service skills.  But we allowed the power of our belief in what a stranger thought of us to discourage and belittle us.  We likely let the false belief subconsciously become entwined with our self- image.
More recently I stood with my husband in a crowded fund-raising event.  The woman beside me reached her arm in front of me and pointed frantically across the room as she spoke to her companion.  Her finger wagged up and down just centimeters from my nose.  She continued talking with her guest, motioning her finger so close to me I found it ridiculously uncomfortable. Admittedly, the thought crossed my mind to drop my jaw, and chomp at that irritating finger.  Instead, I turned to my husband’s ear and whispered half jokingly, “Can you see me?  Am I invisible?”
“Am I invisible?  Am I insignificant?”  What is this message still doing in my brain?
Have you ever felt so insignificant that it ruined your day?  Have you sat in a crowd of your peers and felt virtually invisible? When we allow these feelings to infiltrate our lives we are in danger of acting out on them.  We may withdraw or get depressed- or the opposite reaction-we become boisterous, competitive, trying to earn the attention of others.
In this crowded world, each of us longs to be important to someone, to know there is a reason for our existence.  But our flesh yearns to fulfill this longing with the favor and applause of man.
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.”  John 2:16
The approval of others is fickle.  It often depends upon our performance or our appearance, or is limited by the next best thing that comes along. It is unreliable, unworthy of our trust and leaves us still craving for significance.  The boastful pride of life keeps us hungering for the approval and attention of man, while it actively opposes the Spirit of God.
The satisfying love of God
We cannot escape the timeless bondage of this craving unless we consistently find our significance and purpose in the One who created us.  Only He is able to give us the unconditional love our hearts long for.  Our identity and purpose must be grounded in the  knowledge and understanding of the Lover of our souls.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!
 Psalm 139:17,18
Prestigious titles, accolades and the attention of man are worthless pursuits distracting the daughters of the King of Kings.  Instead, we must choose to fix our minds on the freeing Word of God and pursue the things which bring Himhonor.
Take time to meditate on these Scriptures.  Confess any unbelief as you consider these truths.  Ask God to help you believe what He says about His love and purpose for you.
  • Psalm 139.  Read all of it! Highlight it, circle key words and pray through it while you ask God to help you believe it.
  • Mark 10:43-45.  But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  (Check out what the disciples were asking Jesus in Mk 10:35-45.)
  • Galatians 1:10.  For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
  • Ephesians 2:10.  For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before hand, that we should walk in them.
Begin to hide His Word in your heart.  The next time you feel invisible and are tempted to act on the lies of insignificance, you will be equipped to sit peacefully quiet and bask in the loving approval of God and His purpose for you in that moment.
Lord, I want only You to satisfy these longings of my heart.  I don’t want my life to be led by the approval and attention of man, but let my mind and my moments be led by the desire to bring attention to You!

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