"I am rubber, you are glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you."

Have you ever heard that saying before? Perhaps when you were younger, or when you were babysitting your neighbors little boys. It's as old as Methuselah, sure. Childish? Beyond words. However, it works. Works in the way intended? Probably not. But it works more than you think.

When a little kid says this, they usually mean to let their playmate insult themselves by insulting them. (I.E. "Hey doofus!" "I am rubber..." "...") However, what if we didn't look at it as the insults, but the persons themselves?

Now you're probably sitting there wondering, "Look at the persons? What?" Well, actually, yes.

Throughout all of history, words have been a key cause of problems. Have you ever read this verse?

Proverbs 18:21
"Life and Death are in the power of the tongue. And those that love it shall eat of its fruit."

How about this one?

Galatians 6:7-8
"Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life."

There are several verses I could post right now, but I believe I'll stick with these two for now. These verses mean so very much to me. Why, you ask? Well, let me explain. Have you ever heard the saying "You reap what you sow?" It's based off of the Bible. It means, whatever you do, it shall be done unto you. If you do good, good will be done unto you. If you do evil, evil will be done unto you. Your actions cause a chain reaction. You have to remember, one spark sets off the growing flame. You have to be the one to choose:

Is your spark going to be for the flesh, or for the spirit?

Pretty strong words, huh? I know, It's crazy. But so, so true. What we do not only affects ourselves, but those around us. Everyday we have a choice. A choice to do for the better, not the worse. A choice to do for the Spirit, not the flesh. A choice to do for God, not for Satan.

Before I get to the main point of this post, which is on words, I want to talk about a little bit about actions.

Definition of Action(s):
1 : An act of will:

a : a thing done (deed)
b : the accomplishment of a thing usually over a period of time, in stages, or with the possibility of repetition

Actions speak louder than words, guys. It's true. What if I went out today, and committed a bunch of sins, but didn't way a word? You'd kind of figure I was a bad person. What if I went out, committed a bunch of sins, and preached while I did it? My words might be saying one thing, but if what I'm doing contradicts what's coming out of my mouth, how do my words mean anything? It's just like... Talking air. Literally spitting hollow breaths from my mouth.

It goes the same for anything. You don't have to be robbing a bank to be contradicting your words or "status" as a Christian. You could simply be listening to unnerving music. Wearing immodest clothing (I'm not going to say what is or isn't modest, that's not what I mean.). Saying things you probably shouldn't. Watching things you probably shouldn't. Anything. If you say you're a Christian, and then turn around and do some very unChristian-like things, how is anyone supposed to know the difference?

Which goes into my main reason for this blog post. Words. Words, such little things, such great consequences. It's nothing to be taken lightly, you know. Our words can affect anything. Everything.

Life and death are in the power of the tongue. You reap what you sow. You see sayings, I see a way of life. Of the Christian lifestyle. It's up to you guys to make the right choice. What you say and do affects not only your life, but the life of others. I just cannot say that enough. You can speak life to others, and watch them grow in love. Or, you can speak death to a person, and watch them grow in the same hate. Or, perhaps, not grow at all.

Same goes with anything, really. What we say and do... Gosh, I'm getting repetitive, aren't I? Forget that. I want to show you all something. It really touched my heart when I learned it.

NOTE: I do not own this story. It belongs to CBN, and all credit goes accordingly.

BETWEEN THE LINER NOTESMandisa's American Idol MomentBy Raquel Dunn with Renelle Richardson
The 700 Club

CBN.com – Her soulful sound and winning smile not only captured the hearts of America but the judges on American Idol too. But it wasn’t just Mandisa’s singing that made a statement when she appeared on the fifth season of the hit show.

American Idol host Simon Cowell commented on the singer’s size saying, “Do we have a bigger stage this year?”

“It was my worst fear come true,” says Mandisa, “because it’s been the biggest struggle of my life and because it’s something I feel so vulnerable about. For him to have said that and for it to air on national television -- I was devastated. After the show was over, just a bunch of my friends gathered around me and they began to pray for me. They began to pray for Simon. They asked the Lord to have mercy on him, and they began to ask the Lord to help me to forgive Simon. I realized in that moment that this was about so much more than me and my hurt feelings."

Mandisa began to realize that this was an opportunity for her to glorify God.

“It’s funny, because the producers were setting me up,” she remembers. “As soon as we got there, we were all in a room, and the producers said, ‘This episode is all about reaction.’ Then the producers looked directly at me and said, 'If Simon says something mean about you, you tell him off. You let him have it.' They know that you’re going to tell them off, so you just say whatever you want to and we can bleep out anything that is not TV friendly. I just thought, ‘Oh, trust me. I’ve got some words for him.’ It’s not what they expected, but I did it because it was what the Lord wanted me to do."

“You hurt me,” she said to Simon on that show. “It was painful. It really was. But I want you to know that I have forgiven you. You don’t need someone to apologize in order to forgive somebody. I figured that if Jesus could die so that all of my sins could be forgiven, I could certainly extend that same grace to you.”

Simon said he was humbled and gave Mandisa a hug.

“I knew telling him that I forgave him would kind of disarm him, if you will, and that he would be graced. I didn’t know if he had ever felt that before,” says Mandisa.

Forgiveness is a main thread that seems to be run through Mandisa’s life.  She came from a broken home, and when she was young, her dad moved half-way across the country.

“As a child I started to wonder if it was my fault,” says Mandisa. “Did I do something that made dad leave?  I was only two years old, but as I grew up, I just started questioning that sort of thing.  I started feeling like I had to perform in order to warrant his love. At that point I think I started wrestling with feelings of abandonment and -- not having a father figure in my life -- he is still a very big part of my life, just not right there with me.  I just started turning to food in order to comfort.”

Mandisa realized that she needed to forgive her father.

“When I realized that he was able to go on and live a very happy life, it was holding me back. I did not want my unforgiveness to have that affect on me, and I have learned that forgiveness is just as much for the person that is forgiving then for the person being forgiven,” says Mandisa.

But it wasn’t just abandonment issues that drove Mandisa’s food addiction. As a teenager, Mandisa was raped.

“When that happened at 16, it was like a floodgate opened. I started to eat and eat and eat.  I think I was sort of shielding myself off from anybody else that could harm me,” says Mandisa.

It took a long time, but Mandisa says she was finally able to forgive her rapist.

Since American Idol, Mandisa has been a busy woman. She started modeling for Ashley Stewart -- a plus size clothing line.  She’s making progress with her food addictions.

“I have to choose between eating something healthy or driving through the Krispy Crème,” she says.  “Every time that I do that I get stronger and stronger. Every time that I face it and I am victorious, I am able to reflect on that the next time and that gives me more strength.  It’s choosing to get up half an hour earlier and exercise. Those are all healthy lifestyle changes that I need to make as opposed to dieting.” 

Mandisa has also written a book, Idoleyes .and her first CD True Beautyhits stores in a few weeks.

“I think the Lord allowed me to go through a lot of difficult times beforeAmerican Idol,” she says. “And while I was on it because there are so many other people that can identify with it. So I thought it was important for me to tell my story and be completely honest about it and we get free together. That’s what I think it’s all about. Everything is possible with God."


This. This is what Christianity is all about. I have always loved Mandisa's music. She's fun, and upbeat, and always has a good message. But I had no idea just how far she had to run to get to where she's at now.

I absolutely loved this. It was amazing. Everyone knows how mean Simon can be. And any other person, even Christians, sadly. Would have copped him out for making them feel so horrible. But instead, Mandisa and her friends not only prayed for him, but she went out in front of everyone: the crowd, judges, and national television, and the very first words out of her mouth were "You hurt me, but I want you to know I forgive you."

So few words, such strong meaning...

You know that saying, "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me?" Yep. Biggest. Lie. Ever.

Words hurt. People hurt. Hate hurts. There's always going to be that one person out there that just treats you like dirt. Lord knows, there's probably going to be more than that. But, it's up to us on how we take it.

I want to show you something in Matthew before I begin to close this up.

Matthew 5:38-48
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’  But I say to you,Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.  And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.  Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

The golden rule is, "Treat others how you would want to be treated." or "Love your neighbor as yourself." It isn't "Treat others kindly and with respect, only if they treat you kindly and with respect." It isn't "Love your neighbor only if they do the same." No, it's "Treat others how you would want to be treated." No ands, ifs, or buts. Period.

Did you know that God even loves satan? Now you're probably thinking, "Um.. lolwut? How could God love satan? It's satan. You know... God's enemy..?" Yes. I do. But, what did that verse just say? Jesus said, "Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you." That's right. You heard me-er-Him. Even when it feels like this entire world is against you. Even when it feels like nobody loves you. Always, always love them. And forgive them. Just as God forgave and loved you.

1st Corinthians 10:31
"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

Everything we do should bring glory to our Father. This... This shows it. You know, people just don't understand. What we say and do... It doesn't reflect the other people. If we call each other names and treat each other like dirt, it isn't a reflection of them as a person... It's a reflection of us.

Who do we want to mirror when we reflect? I don't know about you, but I would like to reflect Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior when people see me. When people see what I do, and hear what I say. When people see me, I don't want them to see me. I want them to see the one within me. Beyond me. Bigger than I could ever be. I want them to see Him when they see me.

This path that we walk on... The footsteps we leave behind... They're there forever. The steps we take, the choices we make. So that's why we have to be so very careful about what we do and say. One day, someone else just might walk our path. Our footsteps. Where do we want to lead them to? Heaven, or Hell?

All that's really left to say is this: Live like Jesus is watching. Because ya know what? He is. Everyday. He knows our thoughts, our hearts. He is there, watching, listening, waiting. Waiting to see. Waiting to know. Waiting for us to know. He is here.

Would we really want Jesus to be listening to that song we were just listening to? Would we really want him to see that movie we just saw? Would we really want him the hear the things we just said? To see the things we just did?

If you said yes to any of the above questions, you may want to rethink your current path. If God is everywhere, He is right there. Make Him happy with what we do and say. What we think and know. What more can a Father ask than for his children to love and obey him?

Love. Think. Pray.

And.

Live like Jesus is watching.

~Sam
 


Comments

Christian
08/04/2013 3:59pm

Thank you for this, Sam. It was very well put together, and you made a very good point. I had heard Mandisa's story before, but not in a very long time, so I'm glad you posted that along with this. It was a great example of turning the other cheek and forgiveness. And you ended the post on a perfect note. Jesus is always watching. That's something I need to be aware of much more often than I currently am. So thank you. :)

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    Sam:

    Young reader, writer, and all around dreamer.

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