EDITOR'S NOTE: Answering life questions with biblical principles is what we do every day at 412teens. The Bible has answers to just about any question we can think of (2 Timothy 3:16). If there isn't a direct answer, then we have biblical principles to help us find what's best for each of us personally. Add to that the fact that Holy Spirit was sent to help us make good decisions, and we can count ourselves well-equipped to deal with life (John 14:16, 26, 15:26).
This blog series gives practical examples of how to use the Bible to solve life's daily problems. Hopefully by seeing these cases, you will begin to understand how the Bible indeed has answers (and we can help you find them). Take note of the Bible references and check them for yourself as you read through Heidi's answer to the following question.
—Cat, 412teens Editor
Daily life can be very hard when you feel like you stick out and people look at you differently. Maybe you feel like an outcast. You know that what others do or say shouldn't affect how you reflect Christ in your life, but it's so hard to be kind when people are unkind or uncaring. Good for you for your desire to obey God when it is difficult!
If you feel like you're always getting in people's way and that no one seems to want you around, please know that I hear you; this answer is coming from a personal place. Growing up, I was the largest person in my class, so I was distinctly aware that I literally took up more space than my classmates. Here's the thing I've realized and want to share with you: You are NOT in people's way.
Why? Because you have just as much right to take up that space as anyone else. It doesn't matter how big or small, with glasses or without, with braces or without, with new clothes or hand-me-downs, or anything else you may be self-conscious about...
"Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows." —Matthew 10:29-31
I get it. It's HARD to change to a mindset of "owning" the space you are in. But you are no less valuable than anyone else in your school. And if someone looks down on you? That is THEIR failing—not yours. Just because someone says something mean about you, that doesn't make it true.
Now let's talk about the really hard part...
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." —Romans 5:8
Now here is our huge example. God chose to love us even though we did not love Him or treat Him well. You may be thinking, "Yeah, but He's GOD. I'm not." Which is valid. God sets the standard, showing this huge crazy amazing thing He did for undeserving people. So where does that leave us? What do WE do in our day-to-day lives when we just want to get through Chemistry class, but our lab partner is being a jerk?
Kindness is a weird word for this situation, I know. You might be crunching your nose and going, "That's it? That's your advice? Be NICE to the jerks?!"
Let me direct you to a great article which breaks down what kindness actually is: What is kindness? Basically, kindness isn't about just doing whatever people want you to because they want you to do it. Rather, kindness is making a choice to see the value in those around you, then treating them accordingly.
Pray for your oppressors, for those who ignore you, for those who treat you like you're an annoyance to be avoided (Romans 12:17-18). Be aware of needs of those around you and consider how you can help meet those needs (Luke 6:38; Philippians 2:4; Acts 20:35). Be secure in your own value before God. It doesn't matter what anyone says about you—you are an amazing son or daughter of the Creator of the Universe. You are loved and highly valued (Psalm 139:13-16). God cares about every little thing in your life. No need is too small to bring before Him.
Do you feel invisible or alone at your school, church, or other places? Are you bullied or hurt by others because you're different from them? How do you handle these situations and people? What is another biblical principle that would work here? Share your story in the comments below!
Heidi Joelle is an executive assistant by day and a writer, editor, and reader by night. She can be coaxed from the house by the sound of a good adventure or traveling somewhere new. Her sidekick Smokey the Saint Bernard is rarely far off, usually pretending he's asleep.