Alienated by Fear

Annie reached over and grabbed her purse. The pastor had just dismissed the congregation, and she was always the first one out the door. She tried to fool herself into thinking it was just shyness when she avoided meeting new people and dodged conversation, but she knew better. Annie felt like she had nothing interesting to say, and if people knew her background, then no one would want to talk with her, much less be her friend. Feeling guilty was not the problem; she had asked the Lord for forgiveness. What she feared was rejection—again.

Rejection is difficult for everyone. Regardless of our reluctance to take a chance and be friendly, the Lord teaches throughout His Word the importance of fellowship by the example of His own life and that of other believers. Fellowship should be a natural result of a relationship with Christ.

The need to connect with people is part of our created nature.

Satan delights in crippling our efforts. He often uses excessive fear of rejection or embarrassment due to a lack of social ability.

It is amazing how this same principle of fellowship and working together is demonstrated in God's creation of the insect world. Bugs were created to live socially, not alone, just as we were.

Ants have been used most often to illustrate certain desirable traits, such as being industrious. They are also noted for helping each other in difficult situations. If the ant colony needs to move, some ants are designated to carry the ant eggs or larvae between their strong jaws; some are designated to carry their food supply. When they come to an impassable area where there is nothing for them to walk on, they link their tiny claws and make a living bridge of ants. This allows the rest of the colony to travel across in safety.

When it rains, ants head for shelter, and if an ant spots an aphid it will pick it up in its mouth and take it to a shelter, too, which is usually under a leaf. The eggs of bean aphids are sometimes transported in the fall by the garden black ant to the ant's nest.

Each insect has a duty to perform, just as God has given each of us gifts to be used in His work. While bugs are driven by instinct, the Lord has given us the ability to choose to follow His instructions and principles for life.

The parallels we see in the life habits of insects can show us the beauty of the flow of life when God's creation follows His plan. The more willing we are to trust the Lord, the more we will find that interaction is vital for our lives, and people will respond to us. As we become part of the church body, the Lord will guide us to be able to use the gifts He has given us. We will no longer feel the need to avoid contact with people as Annie did. Our lives will be more complete, and the fear of rejection will no longer alienate us from godly fellowship.