Churches, it can seem, are full of people who feel unsupported, and even let down by their pastors. A classic irony is pastors often feel just as unsupported. Feeling unsupported is linked with isolating behaviour, which leads to depression. We must continue, continually, to thrust ourselves into the loving of lives. When we support others we often feel most supported ourselves.
So many things in the faith act upon reversals. The last in the kingdom are often considered first, the leader is servant of all, the shepherd searches for his one lost sheep leaving the ninety-nine safe in the sheepfold, and the returning prodigal son is welcomed with unparalleled delight.
We can know the support of God as we sacrifice ourselves in support of others, but this is an experienced phenomenon, and it can only be experienced by faith.
This is such an important thing to know; to know it and hence do it.
If we know this truth, and we consistently apply it, we will, without any doubt, never need to be isolated again. Never will we need to be resentful about the lack of support we have. Never again will we need to fall for the lie: we are unappreciated and unrecognised.
The truth is there are plenty of times in life when we feel unappreciated and unrecognised; unsupported.
But when we journey with such feelings, and we ask God, “Lord, what am I to do in response to the way I’m feeling?” our Lord will inevitably give us some relational work to do.
There is always someone we can support. There is always someone we can look in the eye, smile with, and welcome with open arms. As we focus on the other person, God does something in our soul to heal us; we certainly have less focus on what we are missing out on as we focus on what the other person might need.
Of course, what we ponder here is such a basic gospel truth.
We become isolated at our own peril. We resort to bitterness instead of taking the easier route in the long run, which is to get over our pride – a process taking a very short time, painful yes, but not a pain that endures like the products of bitterness do.
Unappreciated, unrecognised, unsupported. There is only one way to improve these outcomes; resist and reject pride and get involved. This is to throw ourselves into the loving of lives.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.