Taking Care With What We Share
Bullying is killing our kids. Being different is killing our kids and the kids who are bullying are dying inside. We have to save our kids whether they are bullied or they are bullying. They are all in pain.
Facebook is having problems. Surprise, surprise! Apparently people from across the globe have been having problems not just commenting on threads but even liking other’s posts. And this “the sky is falling” event has even struck close to home. No, not me, but my 86-year-old father has been getting messages such as “An Error Has Occurred. Please Try Again Later”! And before I heard complaints by the thousands today, I thought that perhaps someone had reported him….taking offense at something or other that he had said or shared. You see, like many of us these days (myself included, I might add), my dad speaks his mind and sometimes says things before thinking through the consequences. And once upon a time, this was not just common, but acceptable behavior. But welcome to the 21st century, where rumors are spread like wildfire through Facebook posts and behaviors recorded for all of posterity via YouTube!
Yes, taking care with what we share has become a must these days, when it seems as if every thing we write, say or share has the capacity to remain “out there” in cyber space for all of eternity. And while most of us will never change the events of recorded history by what we say and do, we may well change the life of one person. Case in point…..the cyber bullying of the 12-year-old Florida girl who leaped to her death from a silo to escape the remorseless taunts of 2 fellow middle school girls. Now not just have phones and laptops been confiscated from dozens of students, but the mother of one of the alleged perpetrators was arrested, her own physical actions of abuse captured and viewed countless times via cyber space! And while there is much good that can come from this technological time of enlightenment, it seems as if there is more harm that is done every day.
Those of faith should seek to lead our world in a battle to eradicate this escalating horror. But that means changing much of what we have come to accept as normal and acceptable actions and behaviors. Do we have the strength to close our laptops and turn off our cell phones for a few hours every day? I don’t know. I do know that I have tried to lessen the time I go on my cell phone during car trips. I am making a concentrated effort to spend more time talking to Dan and looking out the window at God’s miracles all around me! Am I successful? Not as much as I might like, but I also know that of all things worth having, sometimes it is the baby steps that we take at first that will give us the skills to scale the “Matterhorn”!
We must lead by example and as we teach our children about faith, we must also teach things such as acceptance, tolerance, mutual respect and love for others. And hopefully, as they grow and mature in that faith, they will not only understand how to better relate to others whose opinions differ, but they will also have the tools of strength to help them battle any aggression or violence that they may find directed at them or another.
If our actions are above reproach and we are sharing our hearts with those we care about, and they respect the person we are, it is likely they will model their behaviors after our own. And I am certain that this will meet with God’s approval! 1 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV, reminds us, “The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?”
Yes, living and faith-filled life is not just paying lip-service to faith. We can not say one thing and do another…..EVER! And it is this that we must convey to those who would look to us to teach them! And yes, sometimes that means we lead them to begin their own baby-steps even as we take our own!
“On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Luke 10:25-37 NIV
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