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Monday, April 21, 2008

the wounded spirit Part 1

I picked up Frank Peretti's small book, the wounded spirit, at Good Will several months ago. I had no idea what it was about until I started reading it. Mr. Peretti was made fun of and bullied as he grew up. He had what was called cystic hygroma. It is a lesion caused by a mass of dilated lymphatics, due to the failure of the embryonic lymphatics to connect with the venous system. This not only affected his facial features but also his tongue (both visually and the way he talked). The focus of the book is how bullying effects others and how to stop it. He also talks a little about world view. Here are a few quotes from the book:

[I suggest that every human being is born with a sense of transcent justice because every human being, whether they acknowledge it or not, is made in the image of God. God is a moral God, a moral law Giver, and He has written His moral law upon the heart of every human being. When people try to get around this, it makes for a wacky world. They'll often smack into themselves coming the other way in the same sentence:

  • It's wrong to impose your morals on others!

Uh . . . pardon me, but when you tell me it's wrong to do something, aren't you imposing your morals on me?

  • No one's moral opinion is valid because we all speak from how we've been indoctrinated.

Well, I guess that would apply to you as well, which means you've just said isn't valid.

  • There are no absolutes.

That in itself is an absolute statement.

  • Everyone should be able to believe whatever they want.

Then why are you arguing with me?

  • Life is meaningless!

Would you consider that a meaningful statement?

  • You can't know anything for sure.

You seen rather sure about that.

  • Students, no view of reality is superior to any other.

Then why are you grading our papers?

  • You have no right to say truth is external! We all create our own reality!

Then I'm your fault.

  • Oh, here we go again, another right-wing fundamentalist making bold assertions of fact!

Pardon me, but didn't you just make a bold assertion of fact?

  • There is no right; there is no wrong.

Is that statement right or wrong?

  • You can't tell anybody they're wrong.

Am I wrong in doing so? pp. 117-118

The prophet Micah reminds us, "He has shown you, O man, what is good; and waht does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (Mic. 6:8). God has created us in His image and put each of us here on earth for specific purposes. That means every human being has intrinsic value, preciousness, meaning, and dignity. Why? Because we matter to Almighty God! Moreover, not only is it wrong for me to devalue another person, to belittle, to bully, or to abuse another person created in God's image, I must do what I can to defend those who cannot defend themselves from such abuse. We really are "family," whether or not we choose to admit it. The Scripture says, "And He has made from one blood every nation of man to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:26-28).

God says that it is right to respect my fellowman, to love him, to care for him, and to protect him. It is wrong to abuse, tease, taunt, intimidate, hurt, harass, or violate anyone. Taking it a step further, to demean another person is sin. When we indulge in such practices, we are doing so in direct disobedience to our Lord Jesus Christ. Quoting Old Testament passages found in Deuteronomy and Leviticus, Jesus said, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 10:27). Don't miss that last part. Another time, Jesus stated it plainly: "Whastever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets" (Matt. 7:12). pp. 119-120

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