Tuesday, January 27, 2015

An Era of Ridicule? (Part II)

Did Last Week's Blog Cause You To Think?

Last week, I wrote a blog about ridicule, criticism, perfection, compassion, humility and so on within our culture. I challenged my readers to spend the upcoming week "considering others better than yourselves." This challenge may be easy for those who are confident and who love themselves. However, it can be a difficult challenge for those who do not have confidence in themselves and who do not love themselves. I know, cause I had been there at one time.

When we look at another woman/girl on television, in a magazine, in the classroom, or in any group setting, for instance, and we think of her as better than ourself. It may become a "personal putdown." Negative thinking and personal putdowns are harmful to our personal growth. Negative thinking can keep us stuck in a pattern that hinders our assurance, our sense of security, and our identity.

Research shows that close to 70% of women in America have a personal identity crisis.
Are you one of them? 

Recently, I heard Jennifer Lopez interviewed on TV.  She claimed she herself had to learn positive self-affirmations rather than negative thinking in order to build a successful self-image. She said you have to learn to "love yourself" before you can truly love others. I believe this to be true. To me, loving oneself comes when we know who we are, where we belong and what our purpose is in life. It comes more powerfully when we learn who we are as a child of God. This has been the most incredible knowledge I have ever learned.

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’" Matthew 22: 37-39 (NIV)

Armed with this knowledge, we can overcome ridicule, criticism, striving for perfection, learn more compassion, humility and love for one another. With it, we will know what God meant when He said to "consider others better than yourself" and we will not fall into the trap of negative thinking and personal putdowns. Can you believe this to be true?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

An Era of Ridicule?

I'm Hearing The Cry:
It's interesting! I just started doing social media in September, 2014.  I'm surprised at all I have learned, especially on Facebook. I particularly love the inspiring posts on the part of many.  But what speaks the loudest to my heart is reading the comments and the cries such as:
  • Why are we so critical and judgmental of each other?
  • Why are we hurting, hating, bullying and killing others we do not like or who are unlike us?
  • Why do we compare ourselves to others?
  • Why do we set such high standards and strive for an unreasonable level of perfection?
  • Where is our compassion, our kindness, forgiveness and our acceptance of others?
Hearing these cries does make me ask the question: Are we really entering an era of ridicule? Are we succumbing to a mindset of criticism? Whatever happened to The Golden Rule? It says, "Do unto others as you would have them do onto you." Has it been forgotten or does it not belong within our moralistic code anymore? 

To all my Facebook friends, I say, "Keep sharing your inspirational messages, keep striving for a higher level of compassion, rather than a higher level of perfection." Let's not become so paralyzed by our pursuit of perfection that we lose our voices.  Rather, let's become the voice that echoes God's standard, not our own contrived standard. When we echo God's standard, our voices will be powerful and mighty!

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than ourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others." Philippians 2: 3-4 NIV

As we go through each day during the next week, let's strive to "consider others better than ourselves." Perhaps we will be more inspired than ever!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

R U Aware?

What is awareness anyway?

To me awareness is not just knowing about a subject matter it is, more importantly, discovering God's heart for a topic. In discovering God's heart for the topic "Human Trafficking"... awareness then leads one to acquire a passion to learn more; and also, to acquire a compassion to take action. At least that is what happened to me. 

I believe this is what happened to Linda Smith, Founder and President of Shared Hope International. In reading Linda's story, I found that she was a member of the U.S. Congress when passion and compassion struck her. She gave up her coveted position in order to start a global concern for women/girls/boys who are being trafficked. Out of her passion and compassion, Linda made a major, sacrificial decision. 

My passion to learn more also led me to connect with several local groups in Charlotte, NC. These talented leaders have also acquired a compassion to take action. I truly honor them and the personal sacrifices they are making to build a better future for victims and survivors of sex trafficking. 

During this AWARENESS MONTH, I challenge you, my readers to find your passion and compassion by visiting their websites and/or locations. Let's see if God will not only reveal His heart for these precious children, but that He will also break your heart as He did mine.

Here are the groups, in alphabetical order, with whom I have had the opportunity and privilege to connect:

You may find more. If so, please share. Together we can do more.  
Average age of minor sex trafficking is 12

"Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed-and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors-and they have no comforter" Ecclesiastes 4:1 (NIV).

To think that the "oppressed have no comforter" in their time of need was so overwhelming, I wanted to do something to bring the message of Jesus's love to them. It is my hope that these precious children will learn to sing "Jesus Loves Me This I Know." Perhaps some day when their tears soak their pillow, they can rock themselves to sleep at night with these words in their heart.  The least we can do as followers of Christ is introduce them to the Comforter. Let me know if God gives you a passion and a compassion to help.