How to Cope When You're Left Out
It’s Saturday morning. You wake up, pick up your phone, and begin scrolling through your feeds to see what everyone did the night before. As you do, you notice some of your acquaintances’ pictures. You see them, yet again, spending their Friday night doing things they shouldn’t. It’s not that you necessarily want to join them, yet it stings a little to never be invited.
You brush away the thought and continue on. Soon, you begin seeing your friends’ posts. You assumed they had a quiet night in, like you, but the more you scroll, the more pictures you see of them hanging out together. Without you.
This time, the sting is deeper. You stop scrolling and begin to think, Great. Here I am, left out again. Doesn’t anyone like me? Why am I always alone?
You want to know the crazy thing about that “I’m-the-only-one-who’s-not-invited pity party”? We’ve all been there. We’ve all felt the sting of being left out.
You Are Not Alone
As Christians, we may expect to not be invited to activities that are sinful. This exemption can hurt a little, but doesn’t affect us overall. But what about when it’s your friends?
Let me assure you, you are not alone. I’ve often given myself the “left out” girl label. For example, my freshman year of high school, one of the girls on my basketball team had a Christmas party. When it ended, I noticed the only person preparing to leave was me. I soon realized that she had invited every girl on the team to spend the night at her house except me. Ouch.
Even now, as an adult, I continue to be left out of social events. Yet I’ve come a long way in my understanding of being accepted and whom it counts to be accepted by. I wanted to write this post to encourage you in case you’re one who feels like you’re always left on the sidelines.
Three Truths to Remember
1. Being alone a few Friday nights is better than engaging in sinful behavior.
Proverbs 24:1-2 says, “Be not envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them, for their hearts devise violence, and their lips talk of trouble.”
This verse makes it clear to not be jealous of people who are living ungodly lives. Even though we know sin is wrong, sometimes we desire to participate in it because, honestly, it looks fun. The Bible doesn’t ignore this reality.
Hebrews 11:25 is a verse describing Moses. It says, “Choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.”
Yes, sin is often pleasurable for a season, yet Moses chose to obey God instead, knowing obedience comes with a long-lasting reward.
Sin always looks fun on the surface, but will drag us down faster than we realize. When you feel this desire pop up, ask God to help you brush it away and to remember that His plan is better than any short time fun of sin.
2. A true friend doesn’t leave you out.
“A friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17).
People have many friends, and it’s good to remember that you may not always be included in all of your friends’ activities. However, if someone claims to be your friend and is habitually leaving you out or making up reasons they cannot hang out with you, it’s time to ask, “Is this person really my friend?”
As the verse says, a friend shows love, which means caring about your feelings and including you in her life. If she is making no effort to do this, it may be time to reevaluate the friendship.
3. God will NEVER leave you out.
Hebrews 13:5 says, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”
You’ve probably heard this verse many times. Even though it is a real promise, it can be difficult to think of God filling the “left out” void.
But if you purposely dwell on this verse and not how left out you feel, your spirits will begin to lift. You cannot dwell on positive thoughts and negative thoughts at the same time; the good can win out. Spend time listening to worship music or reading the Bible or a devotional, and you will find peace and encouragement.
The next time you feel left out, remember that God is always there—and sometimes it may be a good idea to skip scrolling through your social media feeds.
By Sarah Garrett
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