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Topic: Peer Pressure (07/05/04)
TITLE: "IN" or "OUT"?
By Rose Gingerich
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This experience taught me a lot of things. I found out that having what others have is not where happiness lies. I learned to be myself and not try to be someone I was not. How could someone like me if they didn’t know the real me? They would only like who I pretended to be. I learned that those who mocked others were really hurting and insecure themselves and hurt others to try to make themselves feel better. I also learned who I am in Christ and to accept myself for who I am.
Raising children of my own now, I am teaching my children that real happiness does not lie in having things, or doing the things others do, but rather true happiness lies in making someone else happy and being who Christ made us to be. I have also learned that I would rather have my children be the ones to be picked on and made fun of, than to do so to others. I would rather they would be “out” than “in”. Sometimes children can be so cruel, but usually the ones being cruel have deep hurts inside. I want my children to be secure in my love and in Christ’s love so they never have to hurt someone trying to prove themselves.
A few years ago when I was home visiting my family, a lady, who I used to go to school with, came to see me. She had been one of the girls who used to make fun of me and wanted to ask for my forgiveness. I had forgiven her as well as the others and only saw it as a growing experience, but it had still bothered her after all these years. We had a very nice talk and I told her I had forgiven her years ago. I have heard a number of similar stories recently of people coming years later to ask forgiveness for making fun of someone.
I would just like to encourage anyone going through a struggle with being “in or out”, that it is better to just be yourself than to pretend to be something you’re not. Discover your true identity in Christ and accept yourself for who He made you to be. He has a plan and a purpose for you and for your life. It may hurt to be made fun of, but you will feel better about yourself being mocked, than mocking someone else. So if being “in” means mocking someone, choose “out”.