First off, let me point out that I do not feel I'm a saint, perfect, or above anyone; far from it. I'm praying that this will help others find their way that have been through the same experiences. With that out of the way, please read on.
Ever since 5th grade, I've been overly insecure, living with low self-esteem until finding my way back to the Lord. I still suffer, but not nearly as bad. Although there are times when it kicks back in. What brought this up? I signed up for Forbes online messages. I want to learn and understand more. When reading responses written to others that had commented, I was reminded of how cruel and uptight people can be. I was reminded of how judging one another is a sin.
"Do not judge, so that you won't be judged. 2 For the judgment you use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye but don't notice the log in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and look, there's a long in your eye? 5 Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. 6 Don't give what is holy to dogs or toss your pearls before pigs, or they will trample them with their feet, turn, and tear you to pieces."
This comes from the mouth of Jesus, and yet many of us still judge, ridicule, look down our noses, call others all sorts of names, etc. Why? Why is there so much coldness towards others so often? What good comes of it? Not one thing, yet we continue to hurt our brothers and sisters.
I grew up with hearing I would not amount to anything, I was stupid, a string bean, toothpick, wore falsies and stuffed, ugly, worthless, stupid, (yes, I repeated that for a reason), as so many use that term so loosely. We are not suppose to let words hurt us, yet they do. They can and do cause damage. Especially to those that live without the Lord for so long. Those hurtful acts of wickedness leave deep scars when left there to fester. I know, I've lived it and still continue to experience it.
I used to want to get revenge of all the so called, "popular" kids from school and their parents. Now, I pray that they have found the way and their hearts have been softened. Do the words, the looks of disapproval still affect me? Yes, but not nearly as much. Unfortunately the ones that do still cause hurt are the ones from church. I'm slow, I'll admit it. I'm not the brightest bulb in the bunch, but I give it my all. God created me to be who I am. I try to do the best I can by Him. If you don't like who He created, take it up with Him. But please, those of us that don't meet "your standards," stop snubbing us, stop turning up your noses, stop whispering and making snotty remarks, because it does still hurt.
I watch my oldest grand daughter going through the same thing. At age 5 she was already worrying about her hair not being just right. She was already worrying about how she dressed. The clothing she had picked out when we went school clothes shopping; half of them she didn't wear after one time, because she was made fun of. How sad is that??? I keep trying to build her confidence and teach her that what they say and think doesn't matter as the only one she has to answer to is our creator. Does that stop her from worrying? Does that stop her from hurting? NO, it doesn't. My heart breaks for her, as I know just how she feels. This year due to her parents moving, she started in a new school. She's cried going to school and doesn't want to go. She used to love school. Thank you to all those that have taught your children to look down their noses and make fun of others. I do seriously believe that we are a product of our environment.
As I said at the very beginning; I'm not perfect, I do sin--although I try very hard not to--I do judge at times--but am very quick now to stop and pull that log out of my own eye. Boy does that hurt too. I put myself in their situation and ask myself what right do I have to judge them? I don't know the whole picture. I've also learned that those that are rude are nine times out of ten, insecure with themselves, so they use others to make themselves feel better. Others, well, they are just--I'll let the Lord decide. :)
Ever since I can remember--thank you mom & dad for teaching me to think of others--I look for the good in everyone. I honestly believe that there is good in everyone, it's just deeply buried in some and you have to really look hard and pray that the good in them is brought to the surface and they are saved and come to know Jesus, the one who gave it all for us. Are there some completely consumed by the enemy. I hate to say it, but believe it is true, but still pray that they are released and rebuke the enemies strong hold on them so that they may be saved. For to be consumed by the enemy is a sad, sad, ordeal. Believe me, I have had light experiences of being held strongly by the enemy, and it's not a pretty picture.
So I'm asking for you all to take a stand with me and pray, pray, pray, for those lacking the heart and soul of the Lord, for they are hurting, and need Him more than ever. Do I hate my enemies? No, I don't. Instead, I hurt for them. For being without Him, you are a hollow shell living a life of misery, even though you don't realize it. This brings me to:
43"You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (as I'm typing this out, I can hear His voice saying these very words!) 45 so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don't even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don't even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
I'm realizing more and more just how important it is to be in the word every day! I'm realizing just how wonderful and awesome the word is, the great lessons to be learned, and the beautiful feeling you get when you do. I pray for release for so many from the enemy and to come to know Christ; for there is no greater release than to be in His presence. Hold fast to the One Who gave it all for us. You will be blessed and find truth and release in His word.
Father, thank You for the words you give us, for direction in our lives. Thank You for saving us from the enemy that wants nothing more than for people to hurt. Thank You for sacrificing Your Son to save us all. Thank You Lord Jesus for Your great sacrifice. There are not enough words to show the gratitude for all that You have and continue to do for Your children. All the glory is Yours Father. We lift up our praises to You. We worship You with gladness. Father, we stand here together today to ask for a song to be placed in the hearts of the lost, for them to be bonded to You and rebuke the enemy that has a hold of them. We ask that you place a kind heart in those that are so quick to judge and hurt others. We ask for release of the hurt brought to those who have been struck by those that are lost and cold. Father, please place a hedge of protection around your children. Watch over them and go after those that have wandered. Pick them up and swaddle them to be returned to the flock, so that they will no longer be lost. Thank You Almighty Father, God and Creator of all! You are mighty and wonderful. We lift up our praises to You. Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come, They Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from all evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory forever and ever. Amen!
I know the "Our Father" prayer is different than the one in the Bible, but instead, I recited what I remember reciting everyday as a child when I did have faith before losing it for so many years. Well, I never lost the faith, but strayed from Him for so many years. So many precious years lost. I pray that many are saved from that treacherous path of worldly destruction.