“I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” (John 17: 14,15 NIV)
Have you struggled fitting in with a certain group? Maybe, you’re in a group that an inner struggle conflicts with the group’s message. Both scenarios are more common in this world than not. Teens choose to end their lives over such situations. Individuals carve adulthood based on pain endured. The difference comes when we truly understand the above verses.
Once we believe, we are new in Christ. As with the disciples, they were chosen to learn directly from Jesus. We learn from their interactions recorded in the Bible. Earlier in chapter 15, Jesus explained how the disciples do not belong to the world, they were chosen out of the world. This is why the world hated them. See, Biblical principles guide us to a mindset of excellence. We grow in knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. We learn to walk in love, show kindness, and develop our gifts and talents. During this process, we rid ourselves of ungodly character. The end product, we are not like the world. We belong to Christ.
This is an extremely hard lesson to grasp. One I was not confronted with until I married. I joke about moving into a land not my own, landing me into the wilderness. There, it felt like forty years of wondering. After a few years, I made a conscious decision to be included. There were two social groups, invitation only- of course. A friend of mine felt I had been overlooked. No, I was rejected from both with weak understanding. Honestly, same has happened from a few circles of women in the church. With loneliness, encircled with rejection, a door opened. Light began to shine in. God, through a sweet lady in our church, opened the door to BSF(Bible Study Fellowship). Here, I began a deep study of God’s Word for the next nine years.
Clarity came making sense to me. It was not social groups rejecting me. It was Jesus, saying NO to me. They were clear distractions from God’s plans. We are in the world for now, protected from the evil one. To be Jesus’s hands and feet, called to do greater things than He did. We have no time to be concerned about being accepted by the world. When someone is snide, let it go. When invites do not come, let it go. When you feel alone, know you have Jesus and others believers waiting to connect. God’s plan for us is more than we can ever imagine. I promise.