Friday, June 15, 2012

The Way To Beat A Bully

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Galatians 6:2
Carry each other’s burdens, 

and in this way you will 
fulfill the law of Christ.

Today has been a struggle for me - nothing in my life has changed all that much to make this day hard and another one fine. I think sometimes there is an oppressive weight that I feel at times because the enemy would like very much to discourage me from being open and honest in my writing. I have to realize that I am becoming dangerous to the kingdom of darkness because the words that I dare to share are planting seeds of hope in the darkness of others lives. Some are realizing that they don't have to live hidden away behind walls of shame and isolation. Its ok to admit you are broken. Heck, we all are in one way or another.

I have pinned on my bulletin board the words of two great saints  - One the words of Mother Teresa that says "Prayer make your heart bigger until it is capable of containing the gift of God himself. Prayer begets faith, faith begets love and love begets service on behalf of the poor." The other, the words of my dear friend Terri Lister. She will laugh when she realizes how closely she stands in my mind to Mother Teresa.  She says "It is much easier to walk away from brokenness than to embrace the broken." Terri is a hero in the faith to me because I know the broken places that she has come from and I know the incredible day by day journey she has traveled to freedom. I suppose what I respect more than anything in Terri is that she has always been willing to be open about her brokenness and her struggles and in them all she has kept turning to Jesus. I get so tired of the plastic have it all together type of Christians - will you quit pretending already.  People don't need a plastic Jesus - they need one who bleed and died and suffered and rose again victorious over death and hell. They don't need plastic followers either they need real ones who bleed, and suffer and die to themselves and rise again victorious in Him.

We need to be ok with being real with one another. But we fear the stones of judgement and condemnation. Our shame and guilt becomes this monster that chokes the life out of us. Like a bully the monster threatens us if we tell anyone. The way you beat a bully is by breaking the silence. 
Tell your story, share your struggles. We need to model for others how to walk together and be real.
When its hard you don't just take your stuff and head home to your walls of isolation. Most people just suffer in silence and the enemy wins.  Oh and I'm just as guilty on this score as the next guy. Its easy to minister to others but it is very hard to admit that I need help. Most of the time I don't need someone to swoop in like a knight on a white horse and slay the nasty dragon solving all my problems. I just need someone who will remind me how big God is and to know that they care and that they will pray.

The other thing that I realize is that often the only thing I can change is my attitude and my focus.
In your darkness, look to the light. In your pain reach out to someone else who is hurting.

Dear Lord, Break through our darkness. Help us to look towards the light of your love. Help us to love you on our hard days and not just the easy days. Help us to be honest with you and with each other.

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