Billy's Blog
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November 15, 2017, 5:15 PM

Be the light

Last week at our youth group I talked to the kids about bullying. There were a lot of statistics about bullying. 45 of the 50 states have anti-bullying laws which is good. There are more anti-bullying efforts in schools than ever before. There are commercials against bullying and other forms of compaigns. But guess what...bullying still exists. 280,000 students are physically attacked in secondary schools each month. 160,000 students miss school each day for fear of being bullied. 43% of students fear harassment in the bathroom at school. 

So despite all of the efforts to stop bullying it's still an issue. It's the same with racism and other forms of matter how much we adverstise against it or try to legislate against it will always be there in some form. So what do we do? 

We rise above. 

Jesus calls believers the "light of the world." (Matthew 5:16) The reason we are called the light of the world is because we are a contrast to the darkness. Part of the darkness for believers ever since Jesus roamed the earth for three years has been persecution or bullying. Christians have been bullied, persecuted and mocked for centuries. When Jesus was arrested and eventually crucified he was spit on, stripped of his clothes, made fun of...he was bullied. There will always be mean and ignorant people who make others' lives miserable. Jesus tell us to rise above. Make a difference. Be a light. Be different. 

But how do we do this? 

1. Follow the Golden Rule

In Matthew 7:12 Jesus gives us what we now called, The Golden Rule..."do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This does not come natural. What comes natural is to get others for what they've done to you or to bully or persecute. Jesus tells us to rise above by treating people in the way you want to be treated. This does not have any qualifiers. People may not always do this for you, but we are called to do it for them. This is part of the the's a contrast to what normally happens. 

2. Practice the second greatest commandment

In Matthew 22 Jesus is questioned by an expert in the law, "Which is the greatest commandment?" The Pharisees tried to enforce 636 laws so this would seemingly be a tough question, but they forgot who they were dealing with. Jesus told them there was a greatest command, love God, but there was a second commandment that was also very important. It was to love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus had already defined who your neighbor was when he told the parable of the Good Samaritan. Your neighbor was anyone who needed you. So we are supposed to love our neighbors as we do ourselves. 

As we would take care of ourselves and treat ourselves we are to treat others. We are to rise above how others may act and act in this way. This is part of being the light. Being the light isn't easy, because it's about being different than the darkness around you. It's much easier to blend in, be like everyone else, and not have to rise above. But we are called to do more than this. 

No matter what is legislated, what campaigns are made there will always be bullies. There will always be mean and ignorant people who do not value people like they should. No matter how sophisticated and educated our society may seem to be there will always be racism, hate and violence. We must arise above it all. We must set the standard for how to treat people. We must show people the right way not just by campaigns or legislation but by actually doing it. 

When the church does we truly become the light of the world. 

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