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Sunday, August 4, 2013

On Being “Left Out”

Will Smith and son Jaden
Describe a situation or period when you felt “left out.” How did it feel? How did you react? How did your faith help you to deal with that situation? What did you learn from this experience? (The Upper Room, July – August 2013, from final pages—questions for small groups).

Today in Sunday school we discussed the above question at length with class members sharing when they have felt “left out,” alienated from others, isolated or alone. Simply sharing these experiences and how we felt about them took considerable time. In conclusion we addressed the following question: “Ok, suppose you should feel “left out.” What few words will you tell yourself at the time to help you cope?

Alyssia said she would say “Devil get behind me”…and would pray, “Put a hedge of protection around me.” Deangelo said he would see it as a “test of faith.” I said that “I would look to Jesus for guidance….[that] I would tell myself “Never give up.” I would aggressively challenge those making me feel “left out” with “Come at me bro!” and when they did so I would say, “I want to get to know you.”

During our discussion we pointed out that a huge number of stories and movies treat the “left out” theme. Some had seen The Karate Kid on TV Saturday night and told how they were moved to tears when 12-year-old Dre Parker not only was able to be accepted by his former enemies but fundamentally transformed their behavior. It was remarked that from prehistoric periods mankind has been a social animal driven by survival needs. Thus, being “left out” can hurt deeply even if in some ways we can be in modern times more independent—at least so in surface appearance.

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