Included or Excluded

Included or Excluded

Have you ever been excluded from something?  I know I have and on more occasions, than I care to recall.

Include- being part of the whole; contained; covered: to place in a class, category, or the like.

Exclude- to shut out from consideration, privilege: to prevent the entrance of.

Our talents define us; whether we are artists, athletes, educators, students, planners, or parents we all have a special talent; a gift, that is one of our best attributes. So, why are we excluded? I’ve found myself asking: why did she ask her to do that? Doesn’t she realize I’m the best person for that task? Like really??? Why?…

When it comes to our talents we are all artists and we are sensitive about it. We want to be used but we also want recognition. When we are the “go-to” authority we feel good about ourselves because we know our talent is recognized and “appreciated”. There is nothing we can’t handle! We are unstoppable! *cue the inspirational music* However when this reign of power stops, and we are suddenly not the “IT” person of the moment, our self-esteem plummets; taking all the self-worth we built into our talent spiraling down with it. However, this doesn’t have to happen. When we realize why people may no longer want to work with us it changes our whole outlook and pushes us into a deeper partnership with God. To do this we must look at our posture- how we display, use, and purpose our talents.

God showed Gideon how to weed out the army in order to conquer the Midianites.

(It is not my intent to take this story out of context and I encourage you to read the book of Judges. This just happens to be one of my favorite passages and each time I read it I discover a new life application.)

How did God dwindle down the army? First came the simple question of: are you afraid? Judges 7:3 KJV  The response was overwhelming, over half the soldiers departed. {What are you afraid of? Where do your courage and strength come from? If strength is found through comparisons you will always feel as though you don’t measure up or place yourself above everyone else. Being excluded from past events doesn’t mean you will be excluded from future ones. It may be time to speak up and let your voice be heard. Even if you feel as though the timing isn’t right God will guide you each step of the way. He will show you if you ask.}

Gideon was so fearful that he was threshing wheat in a wine-press hiding from the Midianites. Judges 6:11 KJV  An angel of the Lord came and addressed him as a mighty man of valor. Judges 6:12 KJV  Gideon was literally hiding his food when the angel appeared yet, he was called mighty… How AMAZING IS GOD?!! He builds us up and strengthens us if we pay attention. How we do things is just as important as why we do them. If we are not presenting the correct posture or attitude we will find ourselves and our talents sitting on the sidelines. Pay attention to what is needed and consider the big picture; then we will recognize how we fit in.

The second test used to dwindle down the size of the army came in the form of posture. How did they drink? The soldiers needed to be ready at all times, even when drinking water, they didn’t know when the attacks would come. Being at rest was not an option. So the soldiers that kept a fighting (FOCUSED) mentality, while drinking by the sea were the ones that were included. They realized they were not just there for themselves but were regaining freedom for the nation of Israel. In contrast, the other soldiers that knelt down to drink did not have the best posture and could easily be killed by the enemy. If we are doing everything with our heads down how will we see what is coming?  (Insert mental image of being on our phones, distracted, and not connecting with each other here) Their position was selfish, with no regard taken for the army at large. These simple tests directed by God helped Gideon form a small…very small… almost invisible army of 300. (Compared to the Midianites army of 125,000 Judges 8:10 KJV )

Now all of these men were capable of fighting, but God had a greater purpose. Everyone would see and understand that God was in control. 

Allow God, who can take down the enemy and has already declared victory to fight for you. Be included in His plan serving his purpose. 

Judges 7:4-6

4And the LORD said to Gideon, “The people are still too many. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ shall go with you, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ shall not go.” 5So he brought the people down to the water. And the LORD said to Gideon, “Every one who laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set by himself. Likewise, every one who kneels down to drink.” 6And the number of those who lapped, putting their hands to their mouths, was 300 men, but all the rest of the people knelt down to drink water.


© Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and (Our Given Purpose trademark pending), 2018-2048. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and (Our Given Purpose) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



  1. Broderick Slaughter

    It’s a true blessings to read your word daily. Thank you❤️🙏🏾

    • ourgivenpurpose

      Thank you for your unwavering support.❤️

  2. I love how you made it so meaningful and easily understandable how we can be included and or excluded, You also caused me to remember that I’m on this battlefield for The Lord and I must be ready and always listening for His call to action. Thank you. Love agape

  3. Jslaughter3

    This is very true. God chooses the people who aren’t brave to deliver his word because more people will want to learn about them and how we’re able to become brave.

    • ourgivenpurpose

      Great insight Sir!

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