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Tag Archives: Bullying

“Sticks n’ Stones”

“Sticks n’ stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” I can remember my Mom & Dad teaching me that little thing when I was just a kid. Kids can be cruel with their words. Sometimes it overlaps into adulthood, too. This is just a little rhyme that teaches us to not let those words spoken against us land in our heart…and take root. It was first recorded in 1862. I don’t know who, initially, came up with it but my guess is that it was someone who was forced to deal with some kind of negative barrage of words or criticism from someone else.

It’s good advice, no doubt about it, and if we can learn to appropriate it into our life we’ll be a lot better off for it. But the truth is that words can…..and do hurt. In fact they can cause tremendous damage to young and old alike. Words have extreme potential on both the negative and positive side. The Bible even talks about the importance of words more than a few times.

If we, as victims of those negative words, don’t find a good, positive way to navigate through them and not let them have their effect on us we can easily end up falling prey to their power. I know a lot of people who have allowed those critical and mean-spirited words spoken over them define their entire lives.

So, I think the little rhyme has merit and value for each of us if we’ll just ascribe to it. If we can make the determination within each of us that we won’t let those words hurt us, we’ll be OK. It’s a fact of life; we’re going to have plenty of cruel words hurled our way….but in all reality, they can only hurt us if we let ’em.

It should also be a good reminder to each of us to watch our own words…and not to carelessly throw them out there where they can do damage to someone else!

 

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Fail Forward

It doesn’t matter what you’re doing in life, missing the mark is always a possibility. In fact it’s inevitable that we’re going to fail at something. Whether it’s not making the 5th grade basketball team or coming up short for class president. Most of us experienced the heartbreak of not doing quite good enough early on in life. You know, if it’d just stop there it wouldn’t be too bad. We could surely overcome that class president thing and move on wih life. But, challengingly enough, it doesn’t stop there.

Every single thing we do in life the possibility of failure is staring us square in the face. It can be distracting and downright intimidating. Get yourself two or three of those heartbreaks in a row, which is not hard, and it makes for a really tough patch of life. It would be easy for anyone to get stuck in that same old pattern and let it set the course of their entire life. It’s happened all too many times.

But it doesn’t have to happen that way. Actually, failure has some profound potential if we just don’t allow it get the best of us. Failures provide some amazing learning opportunities and they can give us some incredible perspective if we’ll just let it.

Peter was one of those guys that failed. He didn’t just fail a little….he failed BIG! At the time Jesus needed him most he folded like a cheap lawn chair. Three times he denied that he even knew Jesus, once to a little 12 year old girl. You may have had some major blunders in your life but I’m bettin’ you haven’t had one that big. It would have been easy for that failure to define the rest of Peter’s life. But he had an encounter with Jesus after the resurrection and something miraculous happened; something so miraculous, in fact, that for the next 25 years he was the most important man of the planet as it related to the plan of God! That should be a source of great encouragement to people like us.

Failure is a strong word; and, just because you failed at something doesn’t mean you’re a failure! We shouldn’t allow our failures to define us. We should use them as a stepping stone to greatness. Learn your lesson, get back up and get going again, use your bad experience to help someone else. 

You’re gonna miss the mark; you’re gonna fall short, you’re gonna fail occasionally. But when you fail, …….fail forward! Failure is not final…..unless you let it be!

Oh, and don’t forget what really made the difference for Peter! That encounter with Jesus is the ‘clincher’!

It’ll work for you, too!

Here’s a couple more you might like:

Critics……..There’s One On Every Corner

“Nothing I Can Do About it Now”

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Retaliate!!

Nobody likes to get pushed around or bullied! Everybody gets subjected to it at least some point in their life. I learned, early on, that if I was going to let someone push me around…..that they’d come back and do it again more often than not. It got me a few bruises and a black eye or two but I don’t think I had any ‘return’ customers. I guess as I got older I had more serious disagreements in taking up for someone else who was getting pushed around. I’ve always had a ‘soft spot’ for kids who didn’t have a dad. I just don’t have much tolerance for someone bullying somebody like that. That zero-tolerance policy got me in a few tight spots and a couple that I was probably lucky to get out of unscathed. And during my rodeo career I was around a group of people day in and day out that if you had a weak spot it’d get exploited and there were more than a few who could make your life miserable if they took a mind to. I never considered myself a ‘fighter’ but I made a resolve early on that I wasn’t going to get pushed around by anyone. 

Our culture, or at least the culture I grew up in, teaches us to retaliate. But if you look at the Bible, which should be our standard of Truth…it communicates a totally different way to handle those kinds of things. A lot of people would quote the Old Testament. In fact I’ve heard it more times than I could keep track of, “Well, you know, it’s an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” And, agreed, the Bible does state that…but that was in the Old Covenant Law….and we’re not ‘under’ that Law anymore! Jesus came to set us free from the Law! And when He came He ushered in a lot of ‘new’ ways to handle just about everything.

Now, instead of and eye for an eye,….He encourages us to ‘turn the other cheek’! And we see His example time after time when getting mistreated….He always retaliated with compassion, love and forgiveness. It’s not the first thing the ‘flesh’ wants to do….in fact it totally goes against the grain of logic and conventional thinking, even American upbringing…..but it’s the right thing to do….and it works!

So, the next time you get wrongly accused, mistreated or pushed around maybe you should consider some serious retaliation! I’m not talkin’ about the ‘old school’ kind….I’m talkin’ about retaliating like He did! The world will change if we’ll do it!

The wrath of man cannot accomplish the righteousness of God! James 1:20

You’ll like this one too:

It Was a Test of Epic Proportions! 

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