Lift Up Your Peers

1 Thessalonians 5:11 – Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.

On my Facebook yesterday I noticed friend who posted about women “knocking down” other women.  I totally agree with her how it baffles me that we still do this as adult and it breaks my heart.  Trust me, I’m far from perfect and I am plenty guilty myself for the same transgressions.  It’s like that moment in Mean Girls where everyone raises their hand saying that they people have gossiped about them, but the next second all raise their hand saying they have talked about people behind their backs too.  I do not know of one women alive who hasn’t given in to gossip.

We all have this essential need to feel like we fit in, like we belong.  So when we hear someone giggle behind our backs we have this overwhelming, paralyzing fear that they are talking about us and we start playing in our heads all the mean things we think about ourselves that someone else might actually be saying.  It’s awful.  Every insecurity raises to our surface and we fear the worst.  If we all hate how it feels, why do we do it to others?

It makes us feel powerful.  We feel so out of control with our own lives that when we can point out a flaw in someone else’s life publicly, we almost pride ourselves on how we divert the negative attention away from us to that other person.  Instead of us feeling fear and guilt we are sending it to someone else.  In some circumstances, we may feel like we are just helping justice along thinking “she needed to be brought down a peg or two by somebody” or that someone needed to be publicly humiliated in order to get over something.  It’s such an awful, wretched mentality.  I hate to say, I am guilty of this.

I have let my insecurities take over to knock someone else down so I felt better about myself.  To many of these people, I have since apologized.  To be honest, I apologized because I grew up and felt badly about the way I had treated others, but I also apologized because the guilt of being a jerk was awful.  In order to move on from being a jerk myself and truly get back into a solid walk with Christ, I had to make amends to the people I had hurt.  They deserved to hear it from me that I was wrong and that I was sorry.  I needed to then forgive myself.  I wasn’t that malicious person anymore.

Am I still guilty of talking about people behind their backs?  Yup.  It is something that I struggle with a lot, and every day I find myself mid-thought, sometimes even mid-sentence saying “nope, God, take this from my mouth, remove this from my thoughts.  You do not want me to be this bully.”

1 Thessalonians 5.  Read the whole chapter today.  Spend time in the world.  Make this part of your prayers.  Ask God to help you lift up others instead of knocking them down.  Ask God to help you make a positive impact, and to help you heal from the negativity in your own life.

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