Have you ever felt passed over, unappreciated, unacknowledged, or undervalued? I would venture to say that almost everyone reading this has a story of being the one not chosen for something.
Joseph Barsabbas is not a well-known character in the Bible. And there is a reason. He was the disciple “not chosen” when it came time to replace Judas, the betrayer. (Acts 1:23-26) Who really knows why Matthias was chosen? Though we are not told the “why”, I presume Joseph continued as a Christ-follower and gave himself to tell the story of Jesus in word and action.
And what about Matthias? Well, he never reappears in the Scriptures. This reveals yet another reality: Whether chosen or not chosen to fill a role, the majority of our responsibilities are in serving others with excellences of heart and skill. Few people are recognized, named, or immortalized.
Still, God had a plan for Joseph that didn’t involve taking on that role at that time. Joseph, the “not chosen one”, is a good reminder for each of us to carry on, serve others, and live out the Gospel in word and action with the utmost humility. Not being chosen to replace Judas among the disciples appears to be God’s direction for his life. I wonder how often not being chosen for one thing frees us up for something else important to do. Life’s pivotal events, which for a moment are disappointing, actually free us up to explore other opportunities.
Maybe you didn’t get the promotion. Perhaps, you didn’t make the team or get hired at that company where you wanted to work. How are you going to handle disappointment in life?
How will you respond to the selection of others above yourself?
Let me suggest 4 ways to respond:
1. Determine to imitate Christ in your thinking and character to the best of your ability.
2. Cultivate all your abilities for serving right where you are.
3. Rejoice with, acknowledge, appreciate, and encourage those who excel among us.
4. Stay focused on your aim and constant effort to excel in the basics.
Chosen of God is enough! It’s more than enough. It’s the ultimate.