Jan 11, 2015

Words Hurt (the truth about bullying)...

I can remember, as a child, saying this phrase after somebody would say something unkind to me or to one of my friends, "sticks & stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!" 

I don't remember who taught me this phrase. All I remember is that saying it made me feel like I gave that person a slam right back... even though what they said DID hurt... a lot.

As I got older, there continued to be hurtful words spoken toward me & other people close to me. I don't recall ever feeling suicidal as a young person, but could 100% understand the feelings of loneliness & unworthiness associated with that temptation.

People that know me now probably wouldn't see me as "the type" of person to be bullied or picked on during my school years, but even if it didn't happen everyday - it was still a part of my life... & it affected me deeply. 

There was no particular reason (that I knew of) why certain people in my school seemed to dislike me so much. I wasn't a mean person. Maybe they just decided one day that I wasn't "one of them" & therefore deserved to be shunned. Maybe someone said something untrue about me & they just went along with that information instead of seeking out the truth. Maybe kids are just mean. 

Maybe we'll never know...

What I DO know, is that according to this site: www.dosomething.org  

* More than 3.2 MILLION students are victim to bullying each year!

*Approximately 160 THOUSAND students skip school on a daily basis because of bullying!

*ONE in FOUR teachers see nothing wrong with bullying & intervene less than 4% of the time!

There is something seriously wrong here America! What is going on at the homes of these "bullies"? Who's going to defend the one that's being bullied? What if you yourself have been guilty of being a bully?!? Something needs to be done...

The sad truth of the matter is: Bullying isn't only happening in schools across our nation. It happens in the workplace, in colleges, & even in our own families! 

Did you know that if you say or do ANYTHING that is unloving to another person, then YOU yourself are being a bully??

Even though you are responsible for your own actions & reactions, the one whom I feel is truly the guilty party in bullying situations... is satan himself. 

I mean, think about it! I can point my fingers & blame & cry all I want, but at the end of the day it is the father of lies who is truly to blame. He is the one who truly hates me (& you!) because I am a follower of Jesus Christ. 

I am a child of God, which essentially makes me a target! 

I am a threat that needs to be extinguished & if he can't take my very life, he's going to try his damndest to murder my heart. He does this by making us feel worthless in any way possible, by any means possibly.. & this very real enemy or ours LOVES suicide...

I recently had the unfortunate experience of having someone in my own family say hurtful things to me in a very demeaning tone. Do I think this person hates me? Honestly at the time it kind of felt like it, but when I take my eyes off of "me" & "my feelings" & set my eyes upon God, I'm reminded that HIS opinion of me is all that truly matters anyways.

The Creator of the oceans, of every sunrise, of all the animals, of every flower, & even of... ME... loves me! <3 

My old nature... the nature I was born with... the nature I had before becoming a follower of Christ... told me to get back at that family member & fling hurtful words right back at them. Maybe that would make me feel better... but... *sigh* we all know that never works... & even if it seems like it does for a moment, it never lasts.

Friends, lets commit to take captive every thought that comes into our hearts (2 Corinthians 10:5) & test it with the Word of God & the truth of who He is (Love) before allowing our wagging tongues to honor satan instead of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

If we are truly to reflect the One we serve, then we must do our best to do all things in love. 

If someone hurts us... that doesn't give us license to pay them back. We are instructed in the bible to not repay evil for evil. (1 Peter 3:9) 

Instead of receiving all their poorly portrayed issues, a heart of compassion would look deeper into who that person is & what might be causing their negativity (aka 'insecurity')... We should keep them in our prayers & hand them over to God to work on instead of stressing about their opinions.

*** If you are being bullied or abused physically, sexually, or verbally (via words from their mouth or even words written or typed) - don't try to deal with it alone. Run to God & tell a trusted adult (if you're a young person) or a close friend or spouse if you're older & need someone to talk to about it. In serious cases you may also want to look into meeting with your Pastor or a professional counselor. Don't go through hard things alone. Don't be embarrassed about it. All kinds of evil lurks in secrecy, but healing can come when things are brought into the light. Know that you ARE worthy, you ARE loved, & that I am rooting for you <3 

Click here for an inspiring video on empathy & an interview with the 14 year old girl that filmed & directed it...

Visit www.thehopeline.com if you need help right now.

Be blessed & highly favored. Love always, Lana

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