We live in a day and age where technology makes it possible to stay in contact with someone, while having almost no personal connection. I’m not going to lie, I enjoy the perks of texting, Facebook, email, etc. I don’t like to talk a lot on the phone, and sending a message via text is incredibly convenient. But, I also wonder on the flip side if we have lost touch with true relationships. I wonder if we have become used to the false intimacy provided to us via cyberspace, and have accepted such as our new norm.
This blog entry is not about technology and how it has changed the world. It’s not about blaming technological advancements for the lack of genuine relationships. I think our relationships with others run far deeper than what we can see and technology can only control what we allow it to control in our lives. For some, it’s more difficult than others to separate real life from our technological devices. Yet, the crux of the problem has not changed, but has only become magnified by such advancements.
I want to pose a few questions. How many people reading this have ever felt used or taken advantage of? How many would bravely admit they have taken the easy road at times and allowed others to play a role in their lives, but only because they didn’t have other options? How many of us have tried to fill an empty space within ourselves with a relationshp? And finally, how did that work out for you? I can only speak for myself, but it didn’t turn out so great for me. Either I was on the hurting end of a broken friendship or I hurt someone else because I selfishly chose immediate gratification rather than walking through the process of understanding why there was a void in that space to begin with.
God made each of us uniquely and with purpose. He didn’t settle for mediocrity when He formed you. Don’t believe the lie that you are used goods or you have made too many poor choices to get back on the right path. Don’t believe the lie that you are worthless…BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT!!! Look at this…
“I’ll call nobodies and make them somebodies; I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved. In the place where they yelled, out, ‘You’re nobody!’ they’re calling you ‘God’s living children.’ ” Romans 9:25-26
The problem is not someone else, something else, or our circumstances. Those only cover up the true issue, and the enemy uses those distractions by magnifying them so that everything appears to be completely out of control. We become laser focused on the circumstance, on the person, or relationship and miss the deeper issue. We become the victim instead of the victor. We accept what we see as our reality because we don’t believe we deserve better. We start to believe the lie and after awhile it becomes our truth. This is why it is so important to know who we are in Christ! I will repeat…WE MUST KNOW WHO WE ARE IN CHRIST! The bible makes it clear about where our focus must be. It’s not because Jesus wants you to be miserable, but because He wants you to live in freedom. He wants your heart to be so in tune with His that no one can drag you down and make you feel as though you are worthless. Don’t miss the big picture.
“And Israel, who seemed so interested in reading and talking about what God was doing, missed it. How could they miss it? Because instead of trusting God, they took over. They were absorbed in what they themselves were doing. They were so absorbed in their ‘God projects’ that they didn’t notice God right in front of them, like a huge rock in the middle of the road. And so they stumbled into Him and went sprawling.” Roman 9:31-32
That verse should make each of us pause for a moment and truly look at the relationships we have in our lives with His perspective. Not only our relationships but our entire life. These were God’s chosen people and they missed the mark completely. We too, want to take over or choose what we think is best for us, but only God knows those answers. We can read self help books, search numerous avenues for inner peace, but without Jesus, we will never be truly satisfied. What was meant to be an awakening of who we are in Christ can easily turn into self absorption. We have to come to a place of Christ awareness and not be so focused on self awareness.
“Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, and ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what He is doing.” Romans 8:6-8
So, what do I mean by not being a placeholder? Well, a placeholder by definition is “a term referring to something or somebody whose name is not known or, in that particular context, is not significant or relevant.” Don’t allow someone to place you in their journey as they choose, because you fill a void for them. Allow Christ to open and close doors on your relationships. Some may just be for a season and prolonging that season only hurts you in the end. Others may be lifelong relationships, but allow Him to guide your steps. Don’t lose sight of how carefully He designed you and formed you in your mother’s womb!
“If each grain of sand on the seashore were numbered and the sum labeled, ‘chosen of God,’ They’d be numbers still, not names; salvation comes by personal selection. God doesn’t count us; He calls us by name.”
You are called by name by the creator of the universe! Never settle as a placeholder but rather trust God to place you where He chooses. Don’t be a bookmark when He has created each of us to be part of the chapters in each other’s lives. A good test to know if you are a bookmark or placeholder is to see if you are moving forward. If you are stuck in the same cycle, never making progress, getting used and abused, you probably are a bookmark on someone else’s journey. This also applies on a personal level. If we are stuck in the same negative cycle, bad habits, and relationships we have placed a bookmark in our own story. Our lives are meant to be fluid, constantly moving and changing. Do you want to be a placeholder or allow Christ to hold you tightly and place whom He chooses in your life? Don’t get stuck in a negative cycle! Choose today to start moving forward. Even if it’s only baby steps at first, that’s ok. Keep moving and you will see the pages of your journey starting to turn again! Much love….