Monday, October 31, 2022

Shunned - Martin Wiles

As you know, everyone from the province of Asia has deserted me—even Phygelus and Hermogenes. 2 Timothy 1:15 NLT

I knew I would be shunned before I ever was.

No one enjoys being shunned. I know. I received my share of it growing up. Though a healthy nine pounds plus when I was born, I soon lost my robust physique and traded it for a skinny frame. So thin, in fact, I was shunned because of it, beginning in elementary age and extending through high school. When teams were picked for neighborhood ball games, I was always the last to be selected. The same held true when choosing sides for dodgeball during physical education class at school. I had no perceived athletic abilities the team captain thought would enhance his team.

Paul knew what it was like to be shunned too. He was hounded by those who couldn’t stand that he preached about Jesus Christ being raised from the dead. And he had a thorn in the flesh that led some to look at him with disdain. Perhaps it was his appearance. Phygelus and Hermogenes were only two who shunned him. John Mark did it earlier, and others would later.

Though shunned by others, Paul was convinced of one thing: nothing could separate him from God’s love. Neither people nor unpleasant events could change the fact that God loved him and had forgiven his sins.

I’ve experienced several shunnings since childhood. Sometimes, I’ve been able to fix the rift; at other times, the rift has been unmendable. 

Regardless of others’ opinions or actions, God’s view of me never changes. He loves me with a steadfast love. I can’t make him love me more than he already does. Nothing I do will cause him to shun me, and nothing can ever separate me from his love. The connection with me, which involved the life of his Son, cost him too much to sever for any reason.

When others shun you because of your appearance, opinions, or faith, remember God loves you unconditionally and forever.

Prayer: Father, thank You for never turning Your back on us despite our faults and failures. 

Tweetable: How do you react when you are shunned? 

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