Sylvester Stallone, known for his role as Rocky Balboa, commented in one of his movies that American soldiers are “expendable.” Whether you agree with him or not, the fact is that many soldiers are placed in harm’s way and the same goes for CIA operatives and the like.
If soldiers are expendable, then everything else seems to be disposable. In the United States alone, there is a myriad of disposable products including, hypodermic needles, toilet paper, paper towels, cotton swabs, medical and cleaning gloves, dust masks, diapers, razors, toothbrushes, dental floss, hospital aprons, contact lenses, disposable batteries, cameras, garbage bags, paper cups and plates, drinking straws and many more.
Relationships also seem to be disposable. Marriages end up in divorce at an alarming rate and there is a growing segment of the population that has disposed or abandoned the concept of marriage altogether.
On a personal level, I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have felt like I am a disposable or expendable individual. I know that I’m not the only one that has been betrayed by family, friends, co-workers and co-worshipers.
I have been accepted, or better yet “tolerated,” just as long as I am useful, funny or beneficial in one way or the other. Once my “usefulness” runs out, I am discarded like toilet paper down the drain. The smiles are replaced by icy glares and the greetings turn into awkward silence.
Jesus knows about all this. He was betrayed by Judas; denied by Peter and abandoned or discarded by the rest of his disciples. Paul was also deserted by everyone in Asia (2 Timothy 1:15) and later affirms in 2 Timothy 4:16:
“At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me.”
If you feel like you are “disposable” and discarded by most, I feel your pain. It is not easy to go through life surrounded by enmity or apathy. Very few of us are popular, charismatic or oblivious and immune to the pain.
If you are in this situation, there is nothing you can do to change your circumstances. You can try to be more useful, stronger or friendlier, but it won’t work. Some people will still despise you and attempt to discard you, no matter what you say or do…or don’t do.
There is nothing that you can do. Accept that fact and perhaps you will one day be a better, happier person. There is nothing that you can do to have others accept you, but have no fear because you are already accepted by Christ (Ephesians 1:6) and He will never cast you out (John 6:37), forsake or abandon you (Hebrews 13:5), because He is always with us (Matthew 28:20).
A . G.
Today I saw a family of giants at the restaurant. The father was tall and his three sons were even taller. Even his wife and daughter were taller than other “regular” or normal size women. It is always impressive to see a tall individual, but a family full of giants is a sight to behold.
This was the reaction of ten of the twelve Israelite spies. They walked through the cities and fields of the land of Canaan and were mesmerized (and terrorized) by the abundance of people of large stature. As they returned to Moses they brought this report:
“…the people who dwell in the land are strong…we saw the descendants of Anak there… But the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we’… And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, ‘The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.’” (Numbers 13:28-33)
The Bible tells us not to fear “those who kill the body” (Matthew 10:28) or any other men (including bigger men). Isaiah says:
“I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, and of the son of a man who will be made like grass?” (Isaiah 51:12)
The Word of God admonishes us, on the other hand, to be the bigger man (or woman). 1 Peter 3:8-9 commands all of us to,
“ Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.”
This is what we learned from Jesus, the Son of Man. There is no bigger or better man than Him and there will never be. He went to the cross as a Lamb to the slaughter. He did not defend Himself and suffered the injuries and the insults for our sakes and in our place.
Let us follow his holy example. Do not be afraid of any man---no matter how big or strong they may be and do not seek revenge over your enemies. Be the bigger person, or better yet, bring all your burdens, problems, doubts and fears to Jesus and He will take care of all of them.
He is BIG enough.