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Cliques Aren't Just for Kids (2 of 10)
Series: Beautiful Mess
1 Corinthians 1:10-17
It's noon, and Pat Moore, a secretary at a suburban school in Florida, sits alone at her desk eating a salad she brought from home. Often when she glances out the window after the lunch bell rings, she will see her co-workers heading toward the parking lot on their way to a restaurant. Although she has worked with the same people for more than a decade, Moore isn't included in the outing. On some days, tears fill her eyes as she watches the group leave. ''People can work with you all day long and you interact with them, but come lunchtime, you hear the [office] doors close and people disappear, and you're not invited to go . . . I think middle-aged women's cliques are crueler than teenagers,'' says Moore, 54.
Moore felt left out as a teenager and she still feels the same rejection as an adult. Adults may have more skills to cope with being left out but the wounds are still very real. We have a great yearning to belong and rejection can make a person feel negative about themselves. To be excluded creates enormous suffering. That's not an exaggeration. A 2003 study at the University of California at Los Angeles showed that social exclusion activates the same area of the brain that registers the distress of physical pain. Hurt feelings apparently do hurt. And cliques aren't just for kids. Adults bump into the glass bubbles of these exclusive circles in the office, in parent organizations at their kid's schools, even in houses of worship. Have you ever felt excluded? Do you remember a time when you were left out? Not picked for the team? Excluded from a group? Uninvited? Made to feel invisible? It's not a good feeling, it does hurt.
Life Application: Cliques in the church hurt people and hinder our witness to those whom we are seeking to win to Christ.
Action Step: We must resist cliques in the church fellowship, recognize that we are one in Christ and seek ...
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