Inclusion is the new buzz word of the 21st Century. Which do you identify with, Exclusion or Inclusion?
Nearly everyone if given would choose inclusion. But there will always be someone who refuses to accept you as an equal and intentionally overlook individuals they feel are beneath them. Having experienced the hurt of exclusion I understand the pain of being left out or ignored.
I will share my experience with those of you reading this post and hopefully you will understand you are not alone.
I will set the scene for the unpleasant occurrence. If you have ever been employed in an office, you may understand the experience is not always pleasant.
There is always a pecking order!
Some of your fellow workers may be control freaks seeking to make everyone feel less or unworthy.
These individuals like Satan roam throughout the office attempting to steal joy or cause confusion, as they interrupt daily work routines.
Before sharing my experience, I feel a need to explain why bossy, pushy people react as they do in the workplace.
Many disruptive people are unhappy in their lives, so they seek others to fill the emptiness or make them feel important.
So it is OK to feel down or react to exclusion negatively, but never lose control of who you are. If you belong to Jesus, it does not matter what others think of you, though the concept and actions of not becoming angry or disillusioned are not unexpected!
However, never allow disruptive co-workers to see you suffer because of their bad behavior. Sometimes it is better to pretend you did not hear or understand what was happening.
Why? Because disruptive, bossy individuals thrive on hurting others! Never give them the weapon they need to disrupt your life. Spend time praying not getting even!
Prayer is the best and only place a Believer should be in times of discord. God is only a prayer away. Prayer opens doors no man can open. Prayer is a safe refuge Christian, because in the presence of the Lord no one in this world can harm you!
I know you are probably saying, “The world can hurt me.” But it is your body that can be tortured but never your soul, this belongs to the heavenly Father. If you trust God to remove the pain and choose to walk in love the disrupted will never touch who you really are because they will never understand how you can show kindness and love when they are trying to destroy you!
This scripture says it all and provides the power of love to anyone who will call upon the Word and Power of the Lord in times of discord.
The words from Luke will keep secure you in the presence of an enemy!
“But I tell you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. …(Luke 6:27-36 ESV)
My experience of being intentionally overlooked was a luncheon invitation sent to everyone in the office except me. After everyone invited had accepted, I was sent a separate message stating I had been excluded from the first email.
I knew these words were not truthful. Yet, as a follower of Christ I listen to the false sorrowful explanation of how I had been left off the original emailing.
Sometimes the best reaction is no reaction, and that is the road I decided to take in dealing with the exclusion.
Not everyone in the office felt my position on the staff made me less or, beneath anyone. Though I have the same credentials as every member on my team. I am equal in every way accept job description.
The second time was Boss Appreciate Day. Members of my team purchased a card and gift for the Director, but conveniently left me out, again and I was informed after the fact! I offered to chip in on the present and ticket but was told it was not necessary. I could just sign the card.
Then again I was excluded from the staff picture!
Anger is not the only emotion I felt at being overlooked numerous times from office activities or made to feel I did not belong.
You are probably saying, “Why not tell them how you feel?” Well, it is not easy to do when you know the snub was no accident! There were times I had voiced my suspicions of being overlooked, but the reply was always the same. ” I am sorry. I didn’t know you felt that way. It was not intentional.”
All the while knowing it was meant to make me feel what I was feeling.
Why people lie about their intentions to hurt others is beyond me. It’s easier, to tell the truth than hold back laughter when confronted.
Working in an office of non-believers can be difficult if you are the only Christian. So I was an acquired taste. Though the staff attended Church during the week they lived as the world not for God. I made every effort not to judge or make them feel ashamed of the way they chose to live.
Not everyone was in on the game. But you would be surprised at the two people who were causing the disruption!
The disrupter were African-American!
Don’t be because as a race African-Americans are the most likely to be anti-social to their own race.
Some blame slavery, but I do not. We must stop blaming slavery for our lack of respect for other Blacks and everything else that is not as we believe it should be.
I have no solution to the problem, other than some blacks, though not all, need to feel as if they are in control of something in American society. So they look down on people they should be helping.
I do not understand why as a race some blacks feel the need to make other blacks feel inferior. Being discriminated by one’s race is nothing new when it comes to Blacks.
Few distinguished blacks offer helpi to the less fortunate in their race. Most believe if they made it so can everyone else.
I often ask, what if God felt this way about humanity. Would He have sent his only Son to die for people who should be able to be obedient to Covenants they promised to keep?
I think not!
It is good God is not like humanity, in this case, blacks or we would all be headed to hell because we could not live by God’s Covenent.
I feel so much better having gotten this off my chest! Writing helps me relieve stress and see people as they are, not knowing any better. I can always discern when people are good or bad. I am correct 98.9% of the time, and few surprise me.
After speaking with my supervisor early on about the two women who had joined the team. She said she was sure if they knew how I felt they would be apologetic. Yet, I knew better because I know my people.
I would never paint all blacks with the same brush or make a bold statement such as, “All African-Americans” set out to make other blacks feel inferior. But you would be surprised at the number whose agenda is just that, to exclude and hurt others within their race. I am sure they have their reasons, but it does not make it right to harm others!
All humanity was created by God
The Creator of everything loves black, white, gentile and jew. It matters not. We should work to be more like Jesus and less like humans.
Thinking Of Others
I have shared painful times in my life dealing with exclusion. Though the experience was not based in any fear I suffer, yet it was painful. Had it not been for prayer I would not have made it through. I was able to forgive and see the persons who caused me pain with different eyes.
Fear of Exclusion is deeply rooted in the world today! Everyone is looking for something to make them feel better, but sin is the root of this great evil and prayer is the key!
I am going to recommend something that may be a little radical for the times in which are living.
But here it goes;
Pray, Study the Bible and Forgive!
Here is a Bible verses to get you started:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on it is own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV).
I chose this Bible verse because when Jeusu was on earth he always teached on LOVE, the foundation of his ministry.
Remember, “Fear is from Satan, not God!” Break the bonds of fear from exclusion and put on the freedom of inclusion.
God loves you.