Don’t Give Up

Have you ever been told that you cannot achieve anything? Have bullies told you that you are a loser and worthless? Have people mocked your dreams and tried to stop you from bringing your dreams to reality? Or, have you allowed fear of failure or fear of rejection stop you from moving forward?

I have!

Bullies have called me names, told me I was a loser. People who were supposed to be my “friends” mocked my dreams and what I wanted to achieve. I have allowed fear of rejection to stop me in my tracks. But, not anymore! It doesn’t matter what people say about me. Greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world-1 John 4:4. No longer will I be sitting on the sidelines, but I am getting on the field, ready to play the game. I am ready to do what God has called me to do.

The same thing goes for you. Greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world. It is time to stop sitting on the sidelines, being a benchwarmer…it is time to get on the field and be all God created YOU to be. It is time to look at the opponent (the enemy) straight in the eye, and tell him to get behind you because you are moving forward with full force, not looking back. With God on your side, who can stop you? What may seem impossible to you, is possible with Him! You are meant for so much more.

Sure, getting on the field will be challenging at first. When you walk in the calling God has for you, it is great and exciting, but nerve-racking at the same time because of the unknown. That is why we have faith and trust that God will work out all things on our behalf. Romans 8:28 [NKJV] says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God…” In junior high and high school, I played basketball. I remember the first time I got on the basketball court facing our school’s rival. I was excited to be one of the 5 starters, but I was nervous at the same time. I was usually the one who started the game. I thought, “What if I mess up?” “What if I knock the ball out of bounds?” “What if I get hurt?” Then, the referee blew his whistle, I looked up at the ball, jumping as high as I could to slap the ball to my teammate…those first 10 seconds, I was a nervous wreck…but once the game got started, I loved it.

I believe that is the same with all of us. We are excited to do what God has called us to do, and sure it can be challenging; but, we don’t have to let it stop us. God would not lead us somewhere that would bring us harm. He would not put us in a situation we cannot get out of. God would not make us do something if we could not handle it. What kind of father would do that to his child? The Bible says in Psalm 84:11 [NKJV], “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

Never allow fear to stop you in your tracks. Don’t allow the naysayers, the critics, the judgers, the bullies, the hypocrites stop you from achieving your dreams. I truly believe that Jesus’ return is so near, closer than we think. Let that be your motivation to do what God has called you do. Let that be your motivation to accomplish all that you can. Don’t hide your talents and gifts from the world because of what people said about you. Jesus mentioned in a parable about the master giving his servants talents (Matthew 25:14-29). As the master left, he gave each servant a certain amount of talents. They didn’t know when the master would return. When the master returned, he asked the servants what they did with their talents. Two of them invested their talents and the third one buried it in fear, not investing at all. Woe to the third servant! Don’t be like that servant, hiding the gifts and talents that God has deposited inside of you. You are capable because God will give you the strength to achieve it.

I am preaching to myself too! There have been times where I have let fear stop me, but I am dusting the dirt off my shoes and I am going ahead full force, walking on that field! Regardless how many rejections, no’s, judgments thrown my way…I will not stop! We would not have Disney World if Walt Disney gave up because of the multiple “no’s” he received. We would not have “I Love Lucy” if Lucille Ball quit theater because she was told she lacked talent. We would not have Physics if Albert Einstein accepted his teachers calling him stupid. Do you get my point? Don’t give up. Ever. You are here for such a time as this. You are God’s masterpiece created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them-Ephesians 2:10. God has great things in store for you that you cannot imagine. 1 Corinthians 2:9 [NKJV] says, “But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those love Him.” God has great things prepared just for you!

Will you join me on the field?

 

 

 

You Are Victorious

Do you know that you are victorious? Do you know that God has a purpose for your life? So often, we can become consumed with our life and the circumstances that surround us, we can easily feel defeated. When we focus on ourselves, then it robs us of the opportunity to be a blessing to others. But, what if I were to tell you that when you face bullying, you are still victorious. That probably sounds impossible. You might be thinking, “How on earth can I be victorious when people are being mean, calling me names, saying hateful things about me?” Well, you are!

In my book, “Bullied Yet Victorious: How I Overcame Fear with Faith”, I share the bullying incidents I went through and how God helped me to overcome. I am telling you, there is power in standing on God’s Word. He is faithful, just, and true. He honors His word. God has truly protected me. There is power in prayer. God hears your prayers. Our prayers may not be answered right away, but that doesn’t mean that God is in denial. We are overcomers! Why? Because of what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. If God is for us, who can be against us? He promises in Hebrews 13:5-6 that He will never leave us or forsake us.

 

“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”” –Hebrews 13:5-6 [NKJV]

 

In the eighth grade, I was severely bullied by a classmate who also happened to be a teammate. We were on the same basketball team. Lilly had so much going for herself. She was smart and athletic, the teachers and coaches absolutely loved her. However, she began to follow the wrong crowd at school. She began to believe the lies that were said about me, she joined in on the bullying, and became the main bully. For example, in math class, Lilly sat behind me and whispered to me, “Your hair looks so perfect, I hate it. Snip, snip.” She pulled out scissors from her backpack and placed them on her desk. She began moving her scissors in an up and down motion as if she were cutting my hair. I didn’t trust her! I turned around in my seat, watching her. “Snip, snip” she said. “Ashley, turn around and face the front of the class,” the teacher said. As soon as I turned around, I felt my hair move and the class began snickering. “Snip, snip” Lilly said. I don’t think she actually cut my hair, but the psychological torment was hard to handle. Five days a week, I had to face this girl. She was mean and ruthless to the point one time during basketball practice she punched me in the nose.

I say all of that to say, that I overcame those harsh words that were spoken over me. I overcame the attacks and managed to persevere. One of the greatest lessons I learned is that it doesn’t matter what people say about me, what matters is what God says about me. Same thing goes for you, it doesn’t matter what people say about you. What matters is what God says about you. While people are calling you names, God is calling YOU His child, blessed, priceless, worthy, valuable, beautiful, overcomer, and victorious. The reason I titled the book “Bullied Yet Victorious” is because even though I was bullied, I was/am victorious because of Jesus Christ. God’s purpose for my life is far greater. I am a victor and not a victim. God’s approval is worth more than man’s approval.

Know this today, that regardless what you are facing, God has an incredible purpose for your life. Dare to dream big. Don’t allow what people say about you stop you from fulfilling the purpose God has on your life. Don’t allow fear to creep in but boldly declare His word, that He “has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind”-2 Timothy 1:7 [NKJV]. You are a blessing looking for an opportunity. You are more than a conqueror. Dare to believe what God says about you. Be confident, throw your shoulders back, and know that you are here for such a time as this. You are victorious! 1 Corinthians 15:57 [NKJV] says, “But thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

You are victorious!

 

pinterest photo 8

It Is Time

I don’t know about you, but I am to the point where I can hardly listen to the news anymore. The chaos and evilness that is occurring in America, let alone the whole world, is overwhelming at times. Reports of wars, innocent blood shed, bullying, brink of a financial collapse, prices increasing, propaganda, healthcare being shoved down our throats, IRS scandals, VA scandals, lying, deception, murders…it is enough to make someone want to go hide under a rock! I have come to the point of limiting my news consumption and to focus on other things. However, among the chaos, my question is: where is the Church? Where are the Christians?

In Revelation, it talks about the seven churches. Each church received a warning and urged to repent. One church that was mentioned: the Lukewarm Church. Revelation 3:14-22 is directed to the Church in Laodicea, but I believe it is so relevant for the Church in America today. Jesus said, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”-Revelation 3:15-16 [NIV]. There are too many Christians and too many churches in America that are lukewarm. They are neither cold or hot. You are either for Christ or not. You are either grateful for what He did on the cross for you, or not. You either love Him sincerely or you don’t. It can’t be both ways. What I don’t understand is how some pastors and Christians can be only “Sunday” Christians and not Christians 24/7. IF you boldly profess to be a Christ follower, yet contradict everything you preach…how is that even possible? There are too many pastors and Christians who willingly compromise their convictions to be loved by the world. Therefore, they steer away from preaching about sin and the power of salvation, that Jesus dying on the cross for the world will free them from their bondage of sin, addiction, fear, doubt, anxiety, depression, loneliness, etc. That is too controversial, I guess. No wonder America is messed up!

I truly believe that Jesus’ return is so near and closer than we think. It Is Time for the Church to be the Church. It Is Time for Christians to take their relationship with Jesus Christ seriously. It Is Time for Churches to STOP being so focused on fame and fortune, and get outside their four walls and help America. Something that just absolutely cooks my grits, is when pastors and Christians in churches think they are “too good” to approach other people who may not be in the same “league”, “socioeconomic”, “status” as them. Did Jesus ever do that? OF COURSE NOT!! He was right there with the humble. Jesus reached out to those hurting. He healed the blind, caused the lame to walk, walked among the lepers…Jesus was never “too good” to be around those who were in need of help. I want to ask some of these pastors and Christians, “Who do you think you are? You didn’t get where you are at by your own works. You got where you are at because of God. Don’t forget it!” I wouldn’t actually say that to them, but you get my point. James 2:1-4 [AMP] says, “My brethren, pay no servile regard to people [show no prejudice, no partiality]. Do not [attempt to] hold and practice the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ [the Lord] of glory [together with snobbery]! For if a person comes into your congregation whose hands are adorned with gold rings and who is wearing splendid apparel, and also a poor [man] in shabby clothes comes in, and you pay special attention to the one who wears the splendid clothes and say to him, “Sit here in this preferable seat!” while you tell the poor [man], “Stand there!” or, “Sit there on the floor at my feet!” Are you not discriminating among your own and becoming critics and judges with wrong motives?”

It Is Time for Christians to be Christians. This whole “I will be holy on Sunday” and act like the world Monday-Saturday is sad. People who are not Christians are looking. Those who are trying to make a decision whether or not to be a Christian, watch too. They look to see if Christianity is real. Those who profess Christianity, they are walking testimonies and it would be a shame if their message became tainted and discredited because they were seen at a bar kicking back 5 shots of whiskey, 3 shots of rum, and 2 large glasses of beer, cussing profusely. Or, what is worse…is when you see the worship leader at a church buying a variety of cases of beer. If I didn’t know he was a worship leader, I would have thought no big deal. But, because I knew he was the worship leader, it changed my views of him (I actually saw this happen). You never know who is watching.

As Christians, we are ambassadors of Jesus Christ. When people see us, they should be seeing Jesus. We are called to be light in this dark world. We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus-not just saying it but doing it. America needs help! If the Church would just stand on the Word of God and do what God commanded, to love one another…oh my gosh, can you imagine!?! Pastors need to stop being afraid of mentioning Jesus, sin, or America because they don’t want to “offend” people. Jesus said in John 12:32 [NIV] “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” When we honor Him, He will honor us. Christians can help America by electing politicians who uphold values, morals…better yet, Godly principles. Christians can help America by feeding the poor, help clothe the less fortunate, help the widows and orphans. Christians can help guide the youth in America by helping them reach their fullest potential and encourage them that God has a purpose for their life. Christians can stop bullying in the church by helping the bully and the victim. The Church can be a safe haven for those who are lost, scared, or have no hope. When people walk into church, they should be able to experience the love that the Father has for them, not judgment.

The good news: there is hope! It is not too late and it starts with you and me. Together, lets be the change the Church needs. We can start by showing kindness and God’s love to those around us. We can start by sharing words of kindness to those we come in contact with. We can start by encouraging our friends and family. We can start by posting encouraging tweets on Twitter and statuses on Facebook that are uplifting to the Father. I challenge you today to make a difference. Each day, purpose to make a difference in the life of someone else. Like I mentioned before, there is so much evil in this world. But, let us not be shaken and share hope. As hate increases, let our love increase. Together, we can share the faith, hope, and love that we have in Jesus Christ. Jesus said that when we lift Him up, He will draw all men near to Him. Jesus’ return is so near and there is no time to waste. Together, we can be the change and show the world that we are Christians who mean what we say and do.

It Is Time!

 

Pinterest photo 5

 

 

 

The Desire’s of Our Heart

How often do you hear people say that God will give you the desires of your heart? I hear that all the time, especially from Christians. In fact, I even tweet that!! I truly believe that God gives us the desires of our heart. I believe He can place those desires and dreams in our heart as He directs us into the purpose and calling He has for our lives. I mean, the Bible even says He will do it! Psalm 37: 4 [NKJV] says, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” However, have you ever followed through and read the verse after? So often, people just stop at verse 4 and don’t follow through.

There are two things that Psalm 37:5 says that we should do in order for God to bring it to pass. 1. Commit our way to Him and 2. Trust in Him. Psalm 37:5 [NKJV] says, “Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” To fully understand this verse more, I looked up the word commit and trust.

1. Commit:

According to Webster’s dictionary, commit means: to put in charge or trust; entrust. To break it down further, the word entrust means: to confer a trust on; to commit to another with confidence.

As someone who likes to plan things and be in control of my plans, I learned last year that is not always great. I had to learn that it is not my ways but God’s ways. I learned I had to let go of my plans that I was holding on to so tightly and let God be in control. I committed my way to the Lord. By saying, “Lord not my will but Your will,” oh my goodness, are His ways BETTER than my ways. What we think is good, God has something greater! I have always been a Christ follower and trusted the Lord to direct my steps. But, last year it really hit home the importance of letting God be in control. He will not take you places that you do not need to be. He will not give you more than you can handle. He will not set you up to fail. Instead, He wants what is best for you. He wants to bless you and for you to experience His goodness. He sets you on the path of righteousness. He directs your steps. God is not a mean God…He is just, faithful, and true. He has your best interest in mind. Believe me, if you thought your plans/ways were great…God’s plans/ways are even better!

2. Trust:

According to Webster’s dictionary, trust means: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or trust of someone or something; one in which confidence is placed; dependence on something future or contingent: HOPE

“…trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” What are your desires? What do you hope to accomplish with your life? What are your dreams? Trust the Lord that He will bring it pass. Trust in Him! Praying for something and then doubting it will come to pass is not trusting the Lord. Sometimes, it can be hard to trust. Especially if you have been hurt by others, it can be hard to trust other people. However, like I mentioned above, God will not set you up to fail. He has your best interest in mind. People will fail you but God will NEVER fail you. He loves you so much and has given you a future and a hope. He loves you so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die for you and take away your sins (John 3:16). God Almighty, the one who placed the stars in the sky, caused the planets to turn, who formed you in your mother’s womb…how can you not trust Him?

Commit your ways to the Lord, and trust, place hope and your confidence in Him. Believe and expect God to give you the desires of your heart. Expect God to do exceedingly and abundantly above ALL that you could think or imagine according Ephesians 3:20. God has an incredible purpose for your life. Whatever you are praying for, know that God hears your prayers. Never cease to dream big and expect God to do great things in your life.

I believe, the greatest hindrance to our desires/dreams, is putting our trust in people rather than God and accepting their words over His. God can place desires and dreams in your heart, but will you allow other’s to squander and squash it? When you are focused on God and what He has placed in your heart, rise above people’s negative comments and insecurities. Choose to believe what God says about you.

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” –Psalm 37:4-5

 

pinterest photo 3

You Are An Overcomer

Growing up, my parents taught me to keep my focus on Jesus. When circumstances and obstacles came my way, they encouraged me that Jesus was with me. When I was bullied, I strived to keep my focus straight ahead and remember that God has a purpose for my life. My life is truly a testimony of perseverance. I share my story of overcoming bullying in my book, “Bullied Yet Victorious: How I Overcame Fear with Faith.”

In times of struggles, we can either focus on the negative or look at how we can grow from it. During the time I was being bullied, it was a faith building time for me. It was a time where I chose to believe what God says about me and stand firm on His Word, trusting that God is with me. I relied on Him during my time of trouble. However, more importantly, God helped me to overcome. Whatever you are facing today, know that you can overcome too.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, overcome means: to get the better of; to prevail. To dig deeper, I looked up the meaning of prevail. Prevail means: to be victorious, triumph; to succeed, etc. How is it that we are overcomers? We are overcomers because of Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross for us. We don’t have to walk in this world alone. We don’t have to be fearful or face struggles alone, for He is with us wherever we go. John 10:10 says, “The thief does not come expect to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” We have life because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. God loved the world so much, He gave His only Begotten Son to die for us on our behalf. He bore our sins and shame. Even though we don’t deserve His mercy and grace, God’s mercies are made new every morning according to Lamentations 3:23. We are victorious because of Him. We don’t have to believe the labels people put on us; rather, we can believe what God says about us which is: blessed, precious, worthy, valuable, priceless, beautiful, smart, overcomers, and victorious.

You can prevail. You can overcome. You can triumph and succeed. Believe me, I have been there and here I am today encouraging you. Regardless the circumstances that surround you, you are victorious. God is with you and He will bring you through. Maybe you are worried about finances due to the economy…trust in Him that He will provide and bring you through. Maybe you received a negative doctor’s report…trust in Him that He will heal you. Or, maybe you are dealing with bullying at school…trust in Him that He is with you, even when you feel like you are alone. As a Christian, we are victorious because we have God Almighty on our side. I mean think about it, the Creator of the Universe has you in the palm of His hands. Is there anything too big for Him? Of course not! Therefore, your struggles, pain, hurt, obstacles, regret, circumstances…whatever you are dealing with, God can help you to triumph over your problems. He can bring you through!

Our world is so fast paced, it can seem overwhelming at times and lonely. But, know this, that you are not alone. If you are struggling today with loneliness, fear, bitterness, depression…you are not alone. God is with you, He hears your prayers and cries. I heard a pastor once say that God never wastes a hurt. He knows what you are going through and even when it seems tough, God will make all things work together for your good. He did for me! I was bullied and it hurt. However, I chose to stand firm on God’s Word and believe in Him that He would bring me through. This I know, my hurt was not wasted. God turned things around on my behalf. What the enemy meant for harm, God turned it around for my good. Now I get to share my story and testimony of God’s goodness and help others. Know today, that God is working on your behalf. He will make all things work together for your good. Stay faithful and hopeful, your brighter days are head. You are an overcomer!

Image

Enough is Enough!

Every day 160,000 students stay home in fear of bullying. When bullying occurs, 4% of adults intervene, while 11% of peers intervene. However, a whopping 85% do NOTHING! When people see bullying, 85% do NOTHING! Are those not tragic statistics? I am firm believer of the saying “10% of a problem is 90% how you handle it.” When people just stand there and watch the bullying occur, they are (I believe) contributing to the problem rather than handling it. They are just as much to blame. This even includes the church.

What I am about to say may sound harsh, but it is something that needs to be said because I am sure there are those of you reading this who have thought or felt the same way. It is time for the Church TO BE THE CHURCH. Enough is Enough! It breaks my heart when Christians bully and churches allow it. Are we not supposed to be the hands and feet of Jesus? Did not Jesus say He “did not come to be served but to serve”? Why then are there Christians who act like they need to be served? Why are there Christians who usurp their will upon others? Why are there Christians who feel like they can label people? Jesus said he without sin cast the first stone. No one is greater than another in the sight of God. God shows no partiality. Galatians 5:26 [MSG] says, “…we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.” James 2 is very clear on partiality, that we should not look at someone who has fine jewelry and favor them, while we snub those who don’t look the same. James 2:2-4 [NKJV] says, “For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You stand there,” or “Sit here at my footstool,” have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?”

Time and time again, I have seen this very thing happen in churches. The worst part of it is, I have seen pastors show partiality, and participate in the bullying or excusing it, “sweeping it under the rug” so to speak. All throughout my life, I was bullied by “Christians” in the Christian schools and church. It broke my heart because I didn’t understand why people would treat me so hatefully. I share my story in my book, “Bullied Yet Victorious: How I Overcame Fear with Faith.” In high school, I was bullied at a church. To make a long story short, two women spread vicious rumors about me that spread like wildfire in this church my family and I attended. Sad thing is, I was 16 at the time and these women were 36 years old. To make matters worse, the youth pastor believed the lies and would not give me an opportunity to defend myself. My parents decided that it would be best if we left the church because we were not going to continue staying at a church that professed “Christ”, yet accepted the lies spoken over my family and me. After we left the church, my mom received an email from the pastor’s wife (pastor of the church) asking why we left. My mom emailed her back telling her what occurred and how two women spread vicious lies and gossip across the church. My family and I were flabbergasted when we received the pastor’s wife’s response. She sent us a very hateful email, not believing us because the two women who spread the lies…were her best friends! For the longest time, I struggled going to church and looking at people in the eyes. I was traumatized by what occurred, but somehow, I knew it was not God’s fault. I didn’t know why I was going through that trial, but now I do. I don’t regret going through what I went through because it gives me the opportunity to share my story with you. It blows me away how God gives beauty for ashes.

One summer, I was at a church in Dallas. One of the youth pastors spoke and talked about showing kindness. He told us that one summer he was leading camp and encouraged students to make a difference. He said one boy came up to him crying because he was being bullied by other peers at camp. The other boys accused him of being “gay” because he was happy, smiling, and full of joy. I was saddened when I heard that story. The youth pastor went on to say the boys began spreading that accusation on Instagram by posting hurtful things on this young man’s account. However, NOT once did I hear the pastor say what he DID to stop it! The young man was not gay, he was just happy. Is it wrong for a young man to be happy and joyful? Of course not! I don’t know who those bullies are, but to put labels on others are wrong. I am so tired of people professing to be “Christians” and go to church singing “Hallelujah” and turn around and start bullying. Where is Jesus in all of this? Churches treat bullying like it’s a taboo topic, but maybe if they actually talked about bullying and how words hurt….just maybe it would stop in the church. The church needs to stop putting its head in the sand!

This is the problem, Christians are taught to “turn the other cheek” because Jesus said so. But, I also believe that if Jesus were here on earth right now, he would intervene by addressing the situation. After all, he intervened when the religious were about to stone a woman accused of adultery. I can’t imagine Him standing there seeing bullying occur and walking by, not saying anything. Therefore, I do not think it is right for Christians to just stand there and do nothing. When bullying occurs in the church, it wounds people. People can become bitter, resentful, and even lose faith. And guess what? That will lay heavily on the church.

In 1 John, John is constantly telling us to “love one another.” Why then, is it so hard for Christians to love one another? We are the Body of Christ! We can’t exclude or cut out a member, just because he or she may look different or act different. We are all working toward the same common goal. That goal is sharing the hope and love of Jesus Christ.

I want to encourage those of you reading this, if you were ever bullied by the Church, I apologize. Hurting others is not the heart of God. I apologize to you if you have been bullied or hurt by the Church. God has you in His hands and He has an amazing purpose for you. A counselor once told me, “Don’t put your trust in people, for people will fail you. Rather, put your trust in God because He will NEVER fail you.” If there are people who have put negative labels on you, don’t listen to them. Who are they anyway? It doesn’t matter what others say about you; what matters is what God says about you. You are a blessing. You are priceless. You are valuable. You are worthy. You are beautiful. You are smart. You are an overcomer. You are victorious. God has a way of turning things around on your behalf. What the enemy meant for harm, God turns around for our good for those who love Him according to His purpose-Romans 8:28. One of the greatest things you can do is pray for those who have bullied you. Ask God to heal your heart, to help you forgive those who hurt you, but more importantly, for Him to change the hearts of those who have bullied. God can do it! He helped me to overcome bullying. I know He can help you too!

The church is a place for worship, praise, healing, help, guidance, and fellowship. How does bullying fit into this? It doesn’t. Enough is Enough!

 

pinterst photo

Show Compassion Will You?

I know that I haven’t written any blogs in a while, but now I am playing catch up. I meant to write this a few weeks ago, but life was so busy I forgot to. So, here I am today just sharing what has been on my heart lately.

A few weeks ago, I was in my room reading my Bible before my mom and I left to go shopping. As I was sitting there on my bed, I happened to flip over to Luke chapter 7. There were so many things that really stood out in that whole passage, it blew me away. But, what amazed me the most was the compassion Jesus Christ showed toward others. In Luke 7:11-17, it talks about this widow who lost her son. As her son (her only son) was being carried out in his casket, the widow began weeping and a large crowd was with her. Jesus saw what was going on and Luke 7:13-15 says, “When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.” Jesus saw the pain and hurt the mother was in, and He was moved with compassion. What does compassion mean? According to Webster Dictionary, compassion means: deep sympathy. Jesus had deep sympathy for the widow.

Or what about the woman who was a sinner and washed Jesus’ feet with extravagant oil? Jesus showed great compassion toward her. Luke 7:36-50 talks about how Simon (a Pharisee) asked Jesus over to his house to eat. When Jesus was over at Simon’s place, it says in verse 37-38, “And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.” This passage goes on to say how Simon, a Pharisee-a religious person, chastised the woman and couldn’t believe that a so called “Prophet” would allow a sinner of all people, to touch His feet. However, I love what Jesus said. He didn’t just stand there and let Simon put both of them down. As Jesus turned toward the woman, He told Simon, ““Do you see this woman? I entered into your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”” Luke 7:44-48 [NKJV]. Jesus saw the heart of the woman and had compassion toward her. He saw her intentions which were pure, not trying to gain anything from her actions.

It amazes me how compassionate Jesus is, yet it is hard to find Christians these days who are. I mean think about it, Jesus had compassion on you too, to the point He went to the cross for your sins and shame. He bore your sins so that you could have a relationship with God and spend eternity with Him. Jesus took on your guilt on the cross, so you can be presented faultless before God when you see Him face to face. How mind blowing is that?

I know we are all human, and there is no perfect person (or Christian). Please know I am not here to bash Christianity because I too, believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. However, I have seen so often “Christians” act religious and treat others just like the way Simon treated the woman who washed Jesus’ feet. I have seen “Christians” who say things because they feel like it’s the right thing to say, but not do what they say they are going to do. I have seen “Christians” not show compassion toward others, rather they are stuck on themselves. Jesus wasn’t focused on Himself, He was focused on others. He didn’t make life all about Him, but rather about His Heavenly Father. As Christians, we are ambassadors of Christ…why then is hard to find “Christians” who are compassionate like Him?

I want to challenge you today to go beyond yourself and reach out to others. Show compassion. Everyone has a story, and you never know what someone else may be going through. And, if you are going to profess to be a Christ follower but then don’t act like Christ…you make Christ lose all credibility to outsiders looking in. I want to challenge you to pray and ask God to show you how you can be blessing to others, not so you can gain something from it…but to truly show the love of God to others. Don’t be like those “Christians” who just give lip service but no actions follow. Religion is mere talk. Christianity isn’t religion, but relationship. Show others the difference. Show compassion will you?

 

pinterest pic 2