A few years ago there was a little boy God had laid upon our hearts, and we surprised him for the Thanksgiving meal at his school. While there we witnessed some larger boys picking on a smaller, younger child, until Curt broke it up. It was hard feeling sorrow for the bullies, rather than the unkind thoughts which boiled from within, when coming upon them. I have a sore spot in my heart when it comes to bullies. I was bullied throughout my growing up years and it is hard to feel compassion towards them. To look at them through the eyes of Christ.
I am thankful God has given me the ability to love, and to love deeply. The problem I encounter though is sometimes I become self-righteous in my loving. I begin to measure other people against my measuring standards on how they are living, how they are loving or not. I begin to pick and choose whom I will love. He is so helping me with this. To use Christ' measuring stick - not my own. For when I utilize mine - I shut out people. I tend to focus more on what they do, say, act - rather than the fact of the matter is - they are His child too.
And more often than not - a lost child - no matter their age.
I find the deepest struggle I have is being around bullies when little children are the targets. There are some who enjoy being mean towards the little ones until they cry or even physically shake from fear. Some persons will stand on the sidelines and laugh at the reactions brought on from the bullies. And some just stand and pray. And with His help is finally taking action.
That would be me. I have come to a place where I know I am to speak up, stand up for these little ones. Just haven't figured out the knack of always speaking words He wants me to use, which are healing, rather than using my own, which cause defensiveness and division each and every time. I know anger and self-righteousness on my part needs to be gone from my heart. Only love for those who are bullies needs to be present.
This is where I struggle. "Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly in all situations." Towards all people. He is bigger than any bully. He is in control. And I have asked, am asking, for Him to use me wherever, whenever, whatever way possible for His glory.
He is also showing me I am just as much as sinner as the bullies. The times when I don't love as Christ does, I am nothing. I get in the way. The times I do allow Him to shine - it may be the only time they will see Jesus.
His measuring stick is the only one that works in all situations - all situations:
"Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies." (5-8)