Do you know what it's like to feel rejected...to feel anything other than beloved by others, especially as a proud Christian?
Do you know what it's like to have your outreach and love to be met with a smile, yet only to be mocked later behind your back...which of course you know about, as the mockery made its way back to you?
I think you would know, as sadly it's not uncommon and it seems today, social media is amplifying gossiping and bullying amongst not just teens, adults too! I personally know what it's like to feel the hurt of people 'unfriending' me on social media, or to have people write about me on their own, or other people's walls behind my back. I know what it's like to have my happy posts ignored and gossiped about...yeah, sadly I do know.
At times when this has happened, I've tried my best to do what Taylor Swift's lyrics encourage. I try to keep 'cruising'...walking on and 'shaking' off the negativity. I think things perhaps as we all do like, "Maybe they're jealous"...and so on. I think "Well, haters are simply gonna hate"...
"But I keep cruising, can't stop, won't stop moving. It's like I got this music in my mind, saying it's gonna be alright!Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play. And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate...Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake. I shake it off, I shake it off. Heart-breakers gonna break, break, break, break, breakAnd the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fakeBaby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake. I shake it off, I shake it off..." (Taylor Swift, 2014)
But just like the worldly, sexualised booty-shaking, in the accompanying film-clip to this Taylor Swift song, I find the advice to 'shake it off' a worldly substitute for what I truly need. A temporary fix, lacking what I need to really have an internal shift and for my well-being to be restored. I actually find thinking, “Well haters are simply gonna hate”, only a superficial, self-centred thought...One that only serves to elevate myself above the person who has hurt me.
It's ONLY when I begin to meditate upon Jesus and worship Him that any permanent, internal shift happens.
You see, it's like when a person is genuinely thirsty and drinks from a can of sweet soda. Their thirst is only quenched temporarily and their body is left in need of true, clean hydration. It's like as the bible says, people choose to drink from cracked, man-made cisterns, rather than the clean, good wellspring of life, Jesus Christ. To have our strength and well-being renewed we need to have our wounds healed by Jesus...This is what keeps my ministry on social media going. It's not from simply shaking it off by focusing upon my own strengths.
There are even times when I can find myself feeling stressed and overwhelmed, from my own self. Sometimes I can even be my own worst enemy. Sometimes it can be hard to 'shake off' my own negativity as I don't even know why I'm feeling a certain way. Sometimes the only 'hater' as Taylor Swift puts it, is myself. Do you know what I mean?
Again, it's ONLY when I begin to meditate upon Jesus and worship Him that any permanent, internal shift happens.
I haven't written a post in a while as I've been busy with Richard preparing for our wedding in June. Without realising what was happening, I had begun to feel stressed and pressured, with so many worldly thoughts running through my head. It wasn't until I took time out in worship that a real shift happened.
Through simple, private, heart-felt worship I was able to gain clarity as to where my thoughts had been, and therefore why I had been thinking the way I had been. Then through focusing upon the eternal, unchanging truth of Jesus in worship my focus changed from me to Him, and The Lord was able to minister to me and renew my strength. I felt The joy of The Lord return with a fresh, clear godly perspective.
Let me encourage you. When haters hate you, as they will, or you find yourself tired and stressed, possibly 'hating' upon yourself...Worship. When your perspective becomes worldly; as in fixated upon those against you, or even focused upon yourself...Worship...Irrespective of how you feel!
I have honestly found, it's ONLY when I begin to meditate upon Jesus and worship Him that any permanent, internal shift happens...every thing else is a temporary fix, lacking what I really need.
Let me leave you with a song that helped me recently to worship Jesus and gain much needed clarity and strength, love Melanie.