If You Want to Change the World, Start with Yourself

Tonight, I started thinking about when I attended Manor High School In Portsmouth, Virginia. I started thinking about the time I went to school in wrinkled clothing. It was clean but my pants were wrinkled because I didn’t know how to iron. Both my Mom & Dad worked full time jobs and to be honest, they didn’t have time to iron my clothes. My Dad would often work a double shift at the shipyard. None the lest, I wore clean clothes, nothing designer, but many times, my clothes were wrinkled.

There were people that I knew who took pleasure making fun of me, and many times, bullying me over my clothing or my very old used car, or even the fact I wore glasses. One particular young lady literally crushed me when she wrote a story about me called the “Legend of Joe Lee.” She published it in the school newspaper only to change the title to the “Legend of YoYo Kee.” What was so disheartening was that I thought this person was a friend of mine! The English teacher that sponsored the paper allowed his “star student” to post that story that basically ended with why I didn’t take a long walk off a short pier.

I graduated from High School in 1976. I went on to college and ultimately joined the Rocky Mount, NC Police Department and made a life for myself protecting and serving the community of Rocky Mount, NC. As life went on, God led me over the years to what I am doing today. I went on obtaining a Bachelors Degree in Business and then a Masters Degree in Christian Ministry. I have worked hard over the years, married a wonderful and loving wife, and we have raised a lovely daughter who graduated Number One in her class. She has gone on to graduate from law school with a Juris Doctor. She herself is now a lawyer.

I am a business owner and co-vocational minister. God has truly blessed me over the years. I look back on the person that belittled me in high school and see a much different outcome in their life.

I am writing this down because I know many of you may have experienced the same things. Bullying hurts and destroys relationships. Words hurt. I can remember the bullying from 45 years ago. It just seems like it was yesterday. Hurtful words do not reflect the love of Christ Jesus to the person that one is speaking to. If you want to make a difference for Christ, speak love into another person’s life.

For those who knew me in high school, please don’t insult me by asking who I am speaking of. There is a 99% probability that it isn’t you. I am not going to disclose who it was. I have forgiven that person without them asking me to forgive them. They haven’t asked. But I chose to forgive them because that is what Jesus has called me to do. I only mention this experience because I see people even on the internet and on social media that say hurtful things to people. I see people being bullied all the time. When I see it, I don’t like it.

I ask that before you judge someone for what they are wearing, the clothes they have on, whether it was wrinkled, not the latest fashions, or whatever, think about what their circumstances are. Think about their feelings. Why not show love and compassion for those who have little? This is a prime example of learning to love your neighbor as yourself.

If you want to change the world, start with yourself and how you treat others.

Copyright © August 30, 2020. Marketplace Evangelism Today, a publication of Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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