Look to your left and to your right, who is in front of you and who is behind you? Where are you in the line, where are you in the social order? Look today and then look again tomorrow because you are in middle school and it can change day to day. When we think of where we are located in the social order one of the things we need to remember is this. As Christians we are to live out of Humility. In other words we are not to be snobs and look down on others. I know that many of us at times have been made to feel bad about who we are, and we have been bullied by others. But on the flip side we are not to think less of others. There is a balance that we can live by that allows us to think good thoughts about ourselves and to think good about others. It does not matter where you are in the social order, if you want to you can find someone that is lower than you and you can find ways to attack them and make yourself feel better about how you feel about you. But that is not Humility. That is doing the same thing that someone did to you and that’s just not right. It causes the bullying cycle to continue and never end.
Look what we are taught in the Bible, when it comes to what we are to think of ourselves and what we are to think of others. Philippians 2:3-11 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Wow that is a big verse but here is what it is saying. We need to think of others and think good thing of other people. Get this Jesus was God but He did not think more of Himself, He thought more of us. So here is a step by step break down for you:
Step One: Know who you are and get your identity from God.
Step Two: Know that God thinks good of other people and He loves them so you should think of them as He thinks of them.
Step Three: Live to make a difference everyday and when you have humility you will be lifted up by God. Check out this verse Matthew 23:12Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Get with God and make a difference in the lives of those around you!
Sticks and Stone may break my bones but words will never hurt me? We have looked at this before and well. If you believe that rhyme then you are well very special.
So here is the deal whether we like it our not people have an effect on what we think about ourselves. We live in community, now just because we live in community, does not mean that we live in a healthy community.
I know that you have heard a ton about this, and that they bring it up all the time at school. But we are going to look at it as well. Bullying. So how do people make you feel about yourself? That is the question that we are going to be digging into. I mean we have had it all happen to us where we are having the best day ever and then all of a sudden everything changes. We are now having a crappy day! Why because someone broke a promise, or someone just targeted us and did whatever they could to make us feel like crap.
Then all of a sudden we went from feeling on top of the world to feeling oh so small.
So who are we? That is another question we will be looking at. Yes we are children of God and God loves us no matter what! We Know that if God is for us who can be against us. But when you have been bullied by other kids, or even friends, that doesn’t always pull us through. So what are we to do? How do we feel better about ourselves when we really doubt ourselves. That’s a tough one and I bet we all can say that we have been there from one time to another.
Let’s talk about community, what about your community, do you hang with people that you trust and when you are cut down, and beat up do you turn to your community that will support you? We need this tight community to make it out there. We need to support one another, and watch out for one another. This is XGT, it is a community, look around the room, and ask yourself do you support the people in this room, do you feel supported by the people in this room?
Check this verse out, Deuteronomy31: 8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” God is with us and we will find His strength in our community, we don’t have to run alone and we can depend on one another. Invest in this community, and learn how to know who you are by what your community says about you, not some stray person, who doesn’t really know you!
We live in a culture where everything happens fast. I mean really fast. If you have the means you can download music, movies, and have them in 30 seconds are less. You can order anything online and have it shipped right to your door next day! The world is moving a a super fast rate. What does that do to us, are we clear from the ever increasing speed of the world around us, or do we try to keep up with it? I say things with my mouth at such a fast rate, I rarely think before I speak. It is something that I am working on, cause when I don’t think, well I say things that I well retreat. Take a look at what Jesus says about our words. Matt. 12:35-37 35 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Wow! This verse is very convicting, cause I mean that I want to say that I have good stored up in me, and that I want to say things that are right and true. But there is a word in this text that catches me. It is the word careless. The words that come out of my mouth most often times are careless. If it is carless talk then it means that I did not think before I spoke. My heart want’s to be good, and my mouth wants to say the right things. But far to many times I forget to think. So what are we to do? Well here is what I am seeking to do. I am shutting up and I am thinking.
Step one: I am talking less, unless I have something to say that is good I don’t speak.
For me to stop talking well that is a hard one.
But it is the first step.
Step two: I am thinking more about what I say and before I say it. I ask simple questions. Is this something I want to say?
Is this the right thing to say? Will I regret saying this? And finally is this the right thing to say?
It has been a process, but I find my mind is clearer and more at rest. My mouth use to lead me and often times get me into trouble, but know my brain is leading me and the mouth follows. I say less, and I regret less. I make my words count, and have importance!
Give it a try, think before you speak!
Cover Articles from Extreme Faith Magazine
Written and Posted by The XGT Experience Team of leaders