Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: All of play favorites. It has become so common place that nobody raises an eyebrow to it. In fact, if you don’t play favorites, you stand out.

For many of us, when we think of high school we have moments when we cringe. Maybe it is when you see a picture of yourself of what you looked like. The picture from prom. Or a picture form your air guitar band. You knew that was coming back.

Maybe though, you can remember the feeling of being rejected. Maybe it was by a friend, maybe it was by a boy or girl that you had a huge crush on, a crush you didn’t think you would ever get over. Maybe you heard those fateful words, it isn’t you, it’s me.

This past week, I googled some break up lines. Here are a few:

• "Maybe we have too much in common. We are too much alike."

• "I don’t want you to feel like I’m breaking up with you. I just can’t be in a relationship with you anymore."

• "It’s pointless for us to be together because I’m going away in 11 months for college.”

• "I can’t see myself with you when I am eighty."

All of us at one point or another have been on the giving and receiving end of rejection.

I remember when I was in jr. high, I was in the youth choir at church. Every summer, the choir went on a tour to other churches. So every year, we piled into a bus and traveled around for a week or so. You can imagine, 30 jr. high students on a bus for a week. One summer, there was this girl named Missy. Missy was one of the girls I had my first crush on.

One night, we were in our rooms and I was telling the guys in my room what I thought of Missy. They started egging me on, you need to call her right now and ask her out. And I was like “no way,” and they were like “yeah, do it.” Remember, we were in jr. high in another state, where were we going to go?

I still didn’t want to do it. So the guys in my room said, we’ll call her up and each of us will ask her out and then you ask her out, so it won’t be a big deal. To this day, I don’t know how I thought this was a good plan.

So we called her room and each guy, there were 4 of us, they each asked her out and I guess Missy said yes. I got the phone and said, “Missy will you go out with me?” And she said, “No” and hung up the phone.

I am still scarred.

Each of us have scars that come from being rejected. Some are ridiculous like my story. Some of them are serious scars. Some of us right now are seeing the picture of the person who scarred us. Some of us are seeing the people that we have scarred.

If we were to pass a mic around this morning, all of us would be able to tell a story. Stories that are real, with pain that in many of us still hurt.

What do we do with those memories? How do handle those times in our life when we are rejected? Maybe something has happened recently to you. Maybe you didn’t get that job you were hoping for. Maybe your spouse has rejected you physically, relationally or emotionally. Maybe you have a family member that has rejected you, a friend who no longer seems to be there.

What do we do? Because those are real things, they are real pains, real hurts.

What about those of us who have been on the giving side of those situations? Maybe recently, you have said some really horrible things to someone you love.

For the past 2 weeks, we have been going through the book of James in our series A Search for What is Real. If you have your bibles, you can open them to James chapter 1. James is written to Christians who are not acting like Christians. He starts off his letter by telling them they are not handling trials and temptations correctly. Then he talks about how they are handling anger. So keep this idea of anger in mind as we move into chapter 2.

This is what it says in James 1, verse 26: 26If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. 27Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

James 2, verse 1: 1My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 2For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, "You sit here in a good place," while you say to the poor man, "You stand over there," or, "Sit down at my feet," 4have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

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