We've all seen it. The individual who gets shamed by cyber bullies because they've made a mistake. Maybe it was a big mistake. Maybe it was a small oversight. Whatever the fault, our culture seems to have given us the green light to teach these people a lesson. Nowadays, it feels normal to leave our disdain all over the comments section, and forget that these are human beings made in the image of God who are just as guilty as we are.
With the rise of social media, public shaming has reached terrifying new heights. So how do we teach our daughters to extend grace to people when the rest of the world takes pleasure in berating them? Here are three steps we need to take now to make sure that anonymity is not a temptation for our girls to join in on the condemnation:
1.) Tell her about sin: Sometimes as moms, we want to shy away from this, but that's not helpful. When we do that, we make Jesus too small for the real world and let our girls think they have the right to judge someone else according to their own standards. Instead, step into the uncomfortable conversations about the darkness that lives in us all.
2.) Tell her about God's gift: We can only extend grace when we've been shown extensive grace. When we preach the gospel to our girls, it changes their hearts and makes them more like Him. When we show our daughters God's forgiveness despite the unspeakable treason we've committed against Him, it softens their hearts toward others.
3.) Show her your mistakes: As women, this is hard, but it has to be done. When we show our girls our jagged edges and ask forgiveness for our sin in front of them, it changes the way they look at mistakes, and shows them the depths of grace unending. It makes sin, and God's forgiveness all the more real, and helps them to understand that we can be mistake-makers and be redeemed all at the same time.
Culture tells us that punishing people is appropriate–that they're getting what they deserve. But as Christians we know that if we all got what we deserved, we would be eternally separated from our Father. We must show the world grace because we know what it's like to be shown grace.
Erin Weidemann is a teacher turned professional author and speaker. A former college athlete, Erin is also a five-time cancer survivor. She lives in Encinitas, California with her husband Brent and their daughter Rooney. Alongside her husband, she is the co-founder of Bible Belles, a company that helps girls discover real beauty through the female heroes of the Bible.
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