Monday, May 16, 2011
It Really Does Get Better
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Luke 11:9, 10
I’ve been noticing a new commercial recently; it’s about the “It Gets Better” project. It’s a whole movement aimed at eliminating the bullying of an entire group of people; specifically it’s for the people who are being bullied for being gay, and is in response to the rash of suicides by homosexual young people because they were bullied. I applaud the thought behind this, bullying is awful and should be eliminated.
Before I go any further let me say, this entry is not about my stance on homosexuality. Those of you who know me, know where I stand, those of you who don’t, well I hope this makes it clear where I stand on any topic where it comes to people being bullied. My goal is to show God’s love to all…period.
I know what it feels like to be looked down upon, what it feels like to be the outcast, what it feels like to be an outcast simply because of something about you. I have been overweight as long as I can remember. I remember being picked on at school, out on the street, at the mall, and even at summer camp. Even now, I have to deal with the looks from people, the comments and questions from young kids who don’t know better, and often sitting alone in a public place because no one will sit next to you, it’s almost as though they think being overweight is something you can catch, like a cold. I have to see the stuff that Hollywood puts out, where it’s still ok to make fun of fat people. I’m pretty sure I’m the one demographic that Hollywood has no problem knocking down; an overweight, Christian man.
I don’t share this with you because I’m looking for pity, I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. I used to want people to pity me, because I was that desperate for positive reinforcement. I say this so you know that I know what it feels like to be put down, to be ridiculed, to be ostracized, to be marginalized, and ignored, to be bullied.
I want to share with you my answer; it wasn’t to simply gut it out and wait for an indefinite period of time.
We all have to find our identity in something, and I think we have already lost when we find our identity in the very characteristic that other people choose to harp on, either by being simply inconsiderate or downright mean and hurtful. I’ve already lost if I choose to identify myself simply as one who is overweight, or one who is attracted to women, an amputee or any human characteristic or trait. I choose to find my identity in Christ.
My life is far from perfect, my last year has been, at times, pretty terrible, but I don’t find my identity in any of that. I choose instead to find my identity in the One who died on the cross for me. Like it says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
I have a positive outlook on life, I choose to live a joyful life. And it isn’t because I just waited to get out of high school or because I just waited for a period in my life to end, it’s because I gave my life to Christ and I understand what my identity is in Him, not what the world thinks about me. And I better understand how Paul can say things like; “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4) while he was being persecuted and in prison and constantly under the threat of death.
Look to Christ for your identity, I’d be happy to help you out with that journey. I’m sure there are any number of churches around where you are who would also love to help you out. I’m not saying it’ll all go away, people will still be stupid, uncaring and mean, but you won’t be looking to them to find your place in life, you’ll be looking to the only One who knows you inside and out and still loves and accepts you, unconditionally.
God bless you my friend.