Stop shaming and start encourage others!

My entire life, I have been shamed for the way that I look and how I act. In my younger years before middle school, I was a very trim little kid with a nice tan and golden hair. Everything changed, however, once I reached Middle School. All of a sudden, my body started changing for the worst. I gained a lot of weight, and it made me feel very uncomfortable, not just the awkwardness of it but how much friends and people I didn’t know body shamed me. People think that it’s funny to do something like that, but for someone who’s struggling, it doesn’t help to motivate them. Comments like these can actually put people in a huge depression. On top of being heavy set, I wasn’t a bright kid, so I was shamed for that as well. Between these two things, it was tough for me to even go to school and even easier for me to hide behind my pain with anger. This was devastating for me because my best friends, “or so I thought,” made me feel like garbage, but I continued to hang out with them because they would talk to me. You’d think that things would change when you got older, but people who usually tear down others don’t tend to stop when their children. Unfortunately, I have a really good friend who has a huge heart for others who are suffering but tends to joke with me in a manner that I don’t find amusing. I’ll be working, and he will come up to me and grab my stomach and shake it, making my self-consciousness worse and making me feel like crap the rest of the day. I haven’t told him this bothers me, and I need to address it. They do this to make themselves feel better because things are going on in their life that they can’t control. More often than not, they are hurting inside and don’t know how to express it, so they pick on someone else to take the focus off of their pain. I suffer from a horrible depression over my weight gain, and sometimes it can be debilitating, especially when I want to go out and meet new people for church. I need to keep in mind, however, that we live in a judgmental society. Most people tend to judge on appearance as soon as they meet someone. I am constantly reminding myself that God’s judgment is the only one that matters, and he created all of us in our own individual appearance but also in His image. I am a huge jokester and love to razz other people, but I love encouraging and inspiring others. It’s okay to joke around with people so long as you’re not crossing a line. We must remember that just because we think something may be funny other people may not. Usually, when someone tells me that something I said hurt their feelings, I will apologize and try never to do that again. With all my heart, I want my words to be as sweet as honey when they come out, but that doesn’t always happen. I am human, and sometimes my brain to mouth is very fast, and things slip out that don’t need to be there. Romans 15:2-3 Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. Even Christ did not please himself, but as it is written:” The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” If you need prayer this morning because you are being shamed or to help stop shaming others, please join me in prayer.

Dear heavenly father, thank you so much for yet another beautiful day. Thank you for the opportunity to go out and encourage others. Lord, we ask you to show us the way to speak to other people in a positive and inspiring manner. Take the negative judgmental thoughts out of our minds today so we can uplift our brothers and sisters in Christ. Also, please remove these shameful feelings that we have from damage that other people do. Please help us to realize that your opinion of us is the only one that matters. Thank you for always being with us, in us, and around us and always answering our prayers. In Jesus’ precious name, amen.

Published by Matthew, Karen, and God

Karen Guthrie, a retired Bank Manager, Vice President, and Matthew Moore, who works in construction, are members of the same church. In March 2014, they both joined the Oakdale Rescue Mission Board of Directors. They started sharing their stories with one another on how God has greatly impacted their lives.

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