The Socialite

Today's guest blogger is Anne Dryburgh. Anne is a missionary in Flemish speaking Belgium since 1991 doing evangelism and biblical counseling. Her ministry is unique and I know she would appreciate prayer as she ministers to those around her. These posts will give you an idea of what she faces in her ministry, and how important biblical counseling is to the people she serves.Anne often brings counseling applications to life through stories on the blog. 

Barbara is a shy young lady who often experiences that people treat her badly. When she is in a group, others will often ignore her. At other times, when she does speak to people, still others join the conversation and take over, or the other person walks away. Each time that Barbara experiences this, she wonders what is wrong with her, thinks about how mean that other people are, and about how Christians should treat others in a more loving way.

The first thing that Barbara and I talked about was her motivation for going. What was her reason for being there? To be treated well? To make new friends? To honor God? To love others? If her goal is to honor God and treat others well no matter how they treat her, she would deal with their bad treatment of her in a more constructive way.

In order to help her honor God in her heart, Barbara decided to start to prepare her heart before each visit. She would look to the Lord and who she in the him. She decided to focus on some verses had spoken to her during her quiet time:

“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:11, 12).

These verses help her live in the truth that God has chosen her, he wants her, and that the purpose of her life is to glorify him. Barbara decided to write these verses on a card to put in her pocket so that the next time she was at a social event, she could read them and stay focused on the Lord and his purpose for her.

Knowing that what we think affects how we behave and feel, Barbara realized that she had to counter the wrong thinking that she engaged in when others treated her badly. She saw that as soon as she started thinking that others were mean to her, that Christians should behave better, or begin to wonder what kinds of things were wrong with her, she would have to stop these thoughts. These thoughts would have to be replaced with thoughts that honored the Lord and on how to love others.

These tips were a big help for Barbara in dealing with her heart that longed for love and acceptance. When she did not get the love and acceptance she desired, she became angry, critical, and judgmental. Now she could focus on the Lord, his love for her, and on how to relate to others in a way that pleases him.