He loves us. Oh how He loves us.
So why can't we love one another? The world & let's face it, equally as much the christian community, is swarming with selfish, manipulative, unloving girls/women. We backstab. We gossip. We hold grudges. We place blame. We are more concerned with ourselves than loving like Jesus loves. We bully and push to get what we want.
October is anti-bullying month. While I've never been a victim of extreme bullying, I have experienced it and I've also seen the catastrophic repercussions from it in people close to me. My heart aches for people at the hands of a bully. It truly aches. So I've been going over and over and over in my heart about how to broach this topic here on my blog. Today, I just decided to start writing... seeing where it would lead. And I realized, I have often thought of bullying as an issue at school and is largely reported as a "teen to teen issue" but it is so much bigger (and worse) than that. Bullies are everywhere. At school. At work. The grocery. The television. Facebook. The church. They are teachers, parents, preachers, reporters, strangers, friends. They are relentless; they will tear down until there is nothing left and then stomp on it.
Bullying? In church? Call me crazy but I'm pretty sure even Jesus had to battle bullies and he didn't do it by walking on eggshells. In the Bible, they are called Pharisees. They walked around high & mighty making marks against anyone breaking The Law and the more people brought down, the better. They were very intelligent men but sadly deceived. They were fulfilled by crossing all their t's and dotting every i. Unfortunately, they missed the entire point.
So what then? As a believer, what does this mean? How do I battle bullying? How do I battle being a bully? As I've been in the word the past couple of weeks, I have continuously come back to our calling. Paul tells us to love one another. Love like Jesus, Jesus who loved us death. To death. Wow. When I look at my life I can honestly say without a doubt, much of the time, I don't love like that. But I can try. If His spirit is in me, it is my calling.
How do I do that? How do I love like Jesus? I mean, I can't literally die for everyone. Philippians 2 says to count others more significant than yourself. It brings the Father glory when we humble ourselves and love one another. I can't die for the world (Jesus did that) but I can die to me to the glory of the Father. Only when my spirit is filled with Him, am I able to pour out anything good. Apart from HIM I am nothing but as I come to know Jesus, I am filled with love and love pours out. And it doesn't even feel like humbling. It is natural. Passionate. And I don't condemn. I don't judge. I don't force law. It isn't manipulative. I love and it reveals the gospel. It reveals what He is all about... GRACE!
Think about how many people walk around wounded, feeling forgotten and lonely, seeing no purpose in trying. Suicide may be selfish but so are those that ignore the damage that can be done by simple & selfish actions and words. Cutting, starving and abusing one's body may seem ridiculous, crazy or just plain stupid. Believe that these type of responses come from a place of desperation and need. A need for love and affection. Ignoring the problem won't make it go away. Responding to your heavenly calling just might save a life.
This is a quote from my devotional today,
"For the love of the One who loved us all the way to earth, all the way to the cross, for His sake- let's love one another today."
There is so much more that could be said regarding this devastating issue but for now I will end with this...
STOP IT. Stop the judging and grudging. And for goodness sake, don't ignore it. If you see this happening to someone near you, call it out. Be a loving, kind support & point to Jesus.