It’s really hard when you don’t feel supported, especially by those that you love the most. They’re the first ones we run to for validation or an “Atta boy!” For some of us, we can just let it roll off of our backs. Those tend to be the most confident of us. Then there are the others, like myself, who for whatever reason seek validation almost desperately because we see all of our own faults and weaknesses. Our humility easily dips into levels of insecurity and rather than seeking validation from the only one that truly knows our heart, we seek it from those around us.That’s a dangerous place to be for one’s psyche and sense of value.
In Luke 4:24, Christ said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in his hometown.”
A prophet by definition is “a person regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God.” Hopefully that should be all Christians. At the very least, we should each be “a proclaimer of the will of God.” After all, that is God’s great commission to us – that we share the gospel around the world. So, this passage applies to us all.
I would love to tell you that the Bible clearly states here that Christ is saying don’t expect them to support you in anything from singing to becoming a mechanical engineer. Unfortunately, I can’t. I can tell you that sometimes in the word there is a spirit behind something being said. So, I can say to you that in the spirit of what Christ said here, you can probably expect the same reception from your own family and close friends when you make any kind of life change that is out of the norm for what they have pigeonholed you for. Each and everyone of us draw a box around the people that are in our lives and we pat ourselves on the back for believing that we know them when in reality very few probably know that person at all.
Consider yourself for a moment. Ask yourself this: how many people truly know me, my heart, my soul, my motivations? I would venture a guess that you would probably only come up with about three people or less. So, knowing that, let’s be forgiving of those around us; and, let’s apply that knowledge to ourselves and recall it the next time someone in our lives appears to be trying to break out of that box that we drew around them.
Sidebar: This is a great example as to why I don’t socialize with nor attend reunions of my high school acquaintances. I have nothing against any of them. The plain simple fact is I am not who I was in high school so they don’t know me. We don’t have that luxury with our family – to simply cut them out. The Bible dictates to us that we have certain requirements as children, as blood, to those that are our family. This is not to be a burden, but a blessing. While it may feel as if it were a luxury to be able to cut someone out of your life, you’re doing yourself a great disservice and possibly removing yourself as a blessing to that person. With the blessing of family, though, comes the simple realization that many of them will always only see you as you once were – not as you are now. When Christ was speaking in Nazareth, there was a murmuring, “Isn’t that Joseph’s son?” That’s all He was, or could ever be, to the prideful people who had placed Him in that box.
Now, I say none of this to leave us all in a lurch – believing that there is no one on our side. I am a firm believer or that if God said it that settles it. And in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 it says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up.” So, here we have the word of God telling us that we are better than when we are alone. Logic would then prevail and tell me that there are others of like-mind that will go on my journey with me. On any given day. I may have one person with me…just one. I may have 1000 people on a blessed day. I may find that I only have one person that walks with me on my journey for the rest of my days.
That then leaves us with the real question: what is the purpose of my journey? If the purpose of my journey is to gain the respect and adoration of those around me, then I should go ahead and prepare myself for failure. Christ did not go to Nazareth seeking validation. Christ went to Nazareth for the people, not himself. Throughout the New Testament, you will find several times where men of God when into a town and were not received and they were either told to or they already knew to dust off their feet and go to the next town. So, if the purpose of your journey is to be pleasing to God, to do his will, then do exactly as Christ did. He never preached to those that didn’t want to receive it. He was never an uninvited guest. He never sought validation nor adoration from anyone but from the Father. Christ had thousands and thousands of followers, and now billions, and he never had a social media account.