Power, Recognition, and Response

Who are you to your family and friends? I am asking for the simplest characterization that the people who you know the best use to describe you. Are you a truth teller, a trusted person that most people can count on to get the job done, or the one who lights up whatever room you step into? Maybe you are seen as the smart one, the funny one, the quiet one, the loud one, the stylish one, or the complicated one.

Thinking of the simplest characterization that best describes your personality today, how would that description change amongst your family and close friends if you became a great teacher, or a genuine healer of people, and a highly sought after spiritual guide who can connect equally with the people who you might regularly see around the neighborhood as well as those who are some of the most well-known influencers in your area?

Would the people who are close to you think differently about you if you became someone that people would recognize in the grocery store or at the movies, or as you walked down the street as someone who they would want to follow and give their lives to serve God with you? Do you think that with your newly discovered gifts and increasing recognition of them in your area, that there may be some of your family and friends who may not think you worthy of the accolades that you may receive simply because they knew you when you were a "normal" person, not a highly esteemed teacher or local personality?

It is a strange but common thing that happens to people who rise out of the masses and begin to be noticed for things that they may suddenly manifest and become known for in a short period of time.

That strange thing is to speak dismissively of the words or actions of the rising personality that they know well, using disparaging comments that serve to diminish the accomplishments of the bright light that, in their particular way, illuminates God's love and care for all people. Some may say that strange but common response is rooted in jealousy; others say it is just making sure that the people who receive their newfound recognition will "keep their feet on the ground." Another way is to help them not forget their humble roots, and always remember where they came from.

God gives each of us a gift or gifts, and if we use them to help others as part of following God's leading to be conduits of God's acceptance, comfort, joy, and love for those who are drawn to the spirit of that person, there most certainly will be those close to us who will be quick to anchor our feet on the ground, whether needed or not, if they believe we have risen too far away from their control or above their level of inflated importance.

No matter what negative response may come from some of those close to us who seek to diminish God's work in us, God will not ever leave us without the strength and wisdom to make it through those attacks.

Consider how Jesus reacted to those who knew him as a local carpenter and "round the way guy" as they dealt with him in a similar way when he came back to his hometown. This account is found in Mark 6:1-13. Please read the entire passage and how Jesus spoke of honor, his actions, and his amazement when dealing with the people of his hometown.

Finally, make sure you study how Jesus responded to his hometown haranguers. It is the spiritual blueprint for us to use when we encounter those type of people in our lives. Amen!

Copyright © 2021 First United Methodist Church, Downers Grove. Please report any problems to webmaster@dgfumc.org.