I’m constantly amazed how easy it is for people to say, “I’m here for you,” and when push comes to shove, they are no where to be found. It’s taken me a very long time to get to a place where I will even utter those words without meaning them. I’ve gone through a significant time in my life where I offered up these four words with zero intention of every really being there for anyone. Oh, I would not have said that then. Then, I thought I meant it with every fiber of my being, but when crunch time came, people were nothing but an interruption to me. All under the name of ministry, mind you, I said it and people trusted me to actually be there! Yet, I abandoned them. Again, I would’ve never admitted it then, but they say hindsight is 20/20, and hindsight for me certainly meant I was too wrapped up in my problems that I just didn’t give my full attention and heart away.
Recently I’ve been on the other side of one having ZERO time for me. Going in, I’ve believed that they were “on board” and a team player, but when push came to shove, I’ve been shoved to the side. Reputation of doing the right thing can often be the WRONG thing when SELF is your biggest motivator. We say “YES, Lord, I will do your will” then, as if mumbling under our breath, “only if it fits in MY schedule, MY time frame, MY terms.” Humility becomes a mask you wear instead of the person you try to portray to be. Time after time of being pushed to the side, the mask you wear looks worn and cracked to those in your path of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is no treat in this time of trick or treat. The enemy uses it as craftily as he uses the obvious temptations of gossip, lies, strife, and so on and so forth. Being there for others is not the easy thing we do. It’s, as Paul states in Ephesians 6:20, “for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” He’s speaking of the Gospel. It’s not an easy thing to live because it requires that saying things like “I’m there for you” and you just might have to get messy with people, OR actually be there for them! Being an “ambassador” of anything means we are championing others, a cause, a belief, ON. Even Paul describing his physical state of being in chains in jail and coupling it with being an ambassador states bluntly that this life is hard when people are involved. I’ve spent the last two days livid, on one hand, and just sad, on the other. I am not a fan of being second fiddle in anyone’s life. There are times when that feeling really isn’t intentional. Stuff is going on, and we can be in the path of busyness and a lack of focus on the relationship. Then there are times that it’s happened so many times that you begin to see that you have become part of a plan to be ignored, disregarded and another tool in a plan that is crafting their own image. It stinks. I can’t control what other people do, but I CAN control how I respond. How will you respond today to that person in your life that takes you for granted, doesn’t respect you, or is out to get you? My friend reminded me yesterday that we have a FULL armor of God (Ephesians 6) to put on. Whether or not other Christ-followers use it inappropriately, doesn’t mean I do. Today, I’m buckling tight with the belt of truth and a breastplate of righteousness because I know that to live like Jesus, love like Jesus and leave Jesus behind, it’s not a ME, but a HIM. More of Jesus, more of HIM!