The struggle is real; my heart wants to fit in and belong, yet my Savior calls me to be set apart. Does set apart mean that we are to see ourselves more righteous than others? No, self-righteousness is not our goal. Does set apart mean that we should only be friends with those who prove themselves godly? No, we cannot be the judge of another’s heart. Does set apart mean that I should withdraw and allow fewer people access to me? No way, we were created to be relational and just like Jesus, we are to love others and serve others. So, what does it mean to be set apart?
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
God has deemed us His Masterpiece, given us His son as our best friend, His word as our handbook and the Holy Spirit as our guide. He has charted our course for us. He prepared it beforehand that we should walk in it. All we need to do is start walking the path He has laid out before us and we will find that we are set apart from the crowd. The crowd will be following a different path. The farther down the path we travel – the closer to God we grow – the greater the distance between us and the crowd. It is not us that sets up apart, but our sanctification that makes us different.
Love God. Love People. Jesus told us in Matthew 22:37-39 that the greatest commandment was to love God with all of your heart, soul and mind and to love others as yourself. Take a minute and ask yourself how you are doing with this. To love God like that, we must get to know Him and keep our relationship connected. That means keeping Him on the throne of our heart, learning who He is and spending time together. To love people like that, we have to get off the throne of our heart and put God in His proper place in our life. When He is on His throne, we are not prone to be driven by our feelings. Therefore, we can love others unconditionally and offer grace freely. When we love God and love people, we are set apart.
Squelch the sensitivity. Let me be very careful how I ask this next question. No, let’s just cut to the chase. Are you sensitive? We need a little introspection here. If we are sometimes sensitive, then we need to stop letting our feelings control us. Our heart needs more of Him and less of me in it. If we are hyper-sensitive, then we are probably struggling with some past pain. Do you know that people who have unresolved hurts in their life, wear their feelings on their sleeve and lash out to hurt others? God is enough to heal our hurts and take away our pain. He can restore us. Sometimes we may need guidance from a Christian counselor to help us find our way through, but we can be free of this sensitivity and truly become hard to offend. When we learn to squelch the sensitivity by making what Jesus did for us bigger than what has happened to us, we are set apart.
Be Hard to Offend. I heard John Maxwell say this on a webcast and I love it, be hard to offend. As we study the life of Jesus, we do not find Him judging, criticizing, and whining about how others were treating Him. He realized that the problem was their issue and left it there. That is what we need to do as well. You see, if we can just find our identity in Christ, believing we are who He says we are, we won’t be offended so easily. The more we get to know Him, the more we become like Him and the more secure in our identity we will be. When we become hard to offend because we love people and can overlook their problems, we will be set apart.
It’s really simple. Where are we? If we are frustrated with others and expecting them to be perfect, then we have a problem. We are on the wrong path and are going along with the crowd. If we are committed to spending time in the Word, walking out God’s plan for our life and allowing Christ to do a perfecting work in us, then we are moving in the right direction and becoming set apart.
Let’s end today by talking about this with the One who lived and died for us:
Jesus, thank You for loving us enough to live a life of example for us, leaving Your throne to endure the evils of this world and for suffering a horrific death so that we could have eternal life. Lord, You know we are messed up. Help us. Help us to put You first in our life. Help us to love You with all of our heart, soul and mind. Jesus, You are enough! You are all we need. We know in our head that we do not need approval and affirmation from others, yet we crave it, Lord. Help us to lay that down today and find our identity in You. You have redeemed us, You love us more than we can comprehend and we find everything we need when we run to You. Jesus, help us to love You and to love people. Help us to lay our sensitivity down and to become hard to offend. Help us to die to ourselves and come alive in You. Set us apart, Jesus. Set us apart. We love You! We thank You! We praise You! In your most precious name we pray, Amen!
Note from Pam: Thank you so much for reading my blog. I feel as though you are my partner in this journey of walking in obedience to God's calling on my life. For whatever reason, God has called me to write and I am currently working with a publisher on my first book. It is exciting, yet humbling and overwhelming. If you would like to help me further the message I believe God has given me, here is how you can be a part:
- Please pray for me. Pray that I will manage my time and obligations well. Pray that it is God’s message that will prevail throughout every single page. Pray for those who need this book and that it will get into their hands.
- Like my Facebook Author Page so you will stay up to date on all that is going on as we move forward. Click my name here - Pam Pegram - and it will take you there. Once there, be sure to check “Like”:
- Invite others to like the Pam Pegram page. My publisher has asked me to encourage others to follow this page. You can go to the page and click “invite my friends”. It will allow you to choose the friends you would like to invite.
- If you are reading this via a link on Social Media and have not subscribed to the “Master What Matters” blog, please do so. Just click here and follow the instructions. Also, invite others to do the same.
Thank you so very much for your love, prayers and support. It means the world, truly it does!