Set apart, not set aside!
BY: TERRA WAGNER
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own pos- session, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
1 Peter 2:9
I had a girlfriend over for dinner a few years ago so that we could play catch up on each others lives. When I asked her how a few of her relationships were going that I knew had been on shaky ground her answer struck a nerve with me. She said, “I am just trying to remind myself that I am set apart, not set aside.”
There are so many parts of myself that needed this perspective years ago. I remember being terrified as I stood in a small classroom in front of 25 insanely talented individuals. I had somehow talked myself into singing the song “Listen” by Beyonce for the seminar that day. It was a powerhouse hit from the movie “Dream Girls”. I was so scared to sing it. I was told by my professor to put fear aside and go for it!
After the performance was done, it was time for the students to give constructive criticism. This was when the strong were sifted from the weak.
One of the students in my class was a very talented young lady who was blind. She could make honest statements about a person’s performance solely based on what she heard. Her comments were usually spot on. If someone was nervous, she could hear it. If someone was confident, you better believe she was picking up on that as well. Their attitude and mental perspective about the song and themselves dictated what came out of their mouth.
When it came time for me to hear from her about my shaky performance of “Listen” she paused and then said, “You know, it sort of sounded like a Disney princess was singing it…”. That’s not really a response someone looks for after they just sing a powerhouse balled by Beyonce.
My fragile spirit was instantly crushed right there before my class. I quickly sat down and resigned myself to never singing songs like that ever again. And right there the lie was whispered into my ear. I took it and held onto it like a fragile baby for years. It was the lie that I was a failure and rejected. Because it was the opposite of the response I was going for, I counted it as a loss. I had taken an opinion of a human and stored in the reservoirs in my mind as a statement of rejection.
Years later I was struggling again heavily with rejection. I felt set aside in every part of my life. I heard God whisper to me, I did not create you this way! If God did not make me this way then how did I become this way?
Someone had shared with me that I could ask God to show me the root of a problem in my life. The root of where the pain had begun or where the lie was sown in.
So I asked Him and he quickly answered. In my mind I saw this memory. I saw myself and I saw my peer critiquing me. God began to break down where I had gone wrong in the situation. “But Lord, it was her fault! She’s the one who said it!”
I sounded like a wounded toddler holding on to my pain like a broken toy that I wouldn’t hand over to him so that he could fix it.
You see the problem wasn’t in what she said, it was in how I heard it and then handled my emotions there after.
This life and the people in it are at times going to hurl insults and harmful statements our way. It is a guarantee that rejection will come in some form or fashion to you in your lifetime. But if I accept rejection in and allow it to manipulate my responses to others, I am hurting myself. It causes us to cower back, hiding ourselves away.
The root of rejection can and will run deep if you let it. It will take control of every thought telling it to follow the negative pathways in your brain already formed. We must tell our minds to stop and take hold of our thoughts (Romans 12:2). Yanking them out takes courage and faith in God.
Perspective really is everything. I learned that if I take a step back, take my thought captive and change my perspective, my heart does not accept rejection as truth.
Years later in one of my quiet moments with God He brought me back to that moment where my voice was compared with that of a pure and sweet princess that softly sings and the world takes notice. He showed me that that is exactly how He made me. The girl who intended to speak a semi-nasty comment to me was really picking up on a half truth. God has designed me with a voice that does contain purity. I’ve discovered in years since that one of God’s callings on my life is to show the world a life of purity. To live set apart and not set aside. To choose God’s way of doing life, and not mans. My voice was designed specifically for that purpose. The enemy will always use half truths to try and stab us and create confusion about our identity. Don’t allow the world or the evil in it to label you because they didn’t create you.
1 John 4:4-5 states, “But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them.”
You belong to God therefore you have already received the victory in this situation. Let’s act from victory and rip out the deep root of rejection from our minds and hearts. To God be the glory for great things He has done!
What moment of rejection from your past is negatively effecting your future? ____________________________________________________________
Ask Jesus to show you the root. What did He show you? ____________________________________________________________
Read 1 Peter 2:9.
How do you view rejection now that you have read that you are a child of the King?________________________________________________
Lord, I thank you for adopting me. I thank you for being a good father that never forgets about his children. I pray that you would expose the lies that I have believed. Turn my feelings and emotions from rejection and failure to acceptance and victory. And Lord help me to remember your truth when someone says or does something to hurt me. Show me who you created me to be! I pray that you would free me from my pre-existing wounds. Help me to forgive those that have rejected me and forgive me for rejecting others.