Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Proverbs 31:9(NIV)
"Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

Not only is this a physical attribute all of us have (a backbone), but it's sometimes a term we use to describe someone  who stands up to what is right, or sometimes we use it negatively to describe someone who "has no backbone" and will not stand up or address conflict or problems or who acts cowardly.


Your backbone sort of keeps your body together, slangily speaking the dictionary defines one who has backbone as "strength or character; being resolute".  It shouldn't surprise me, but we live in a society today where many people don't have much of a "backbone".  They look the other way when someone does something wrong, they enable and allow friends and family to destroy their lives without stepping in or trying to intervene. We won't stand up to bullies or people who try to push us around or others for that matter.

I've always felt like people who had "no spine or backbone" had no self-respect or low self-esteem.  Right is right and wrong is wrong.  Truth is truth and lies are lies.  When it comes to truth and the right thing, we should never cower, avoid, live in denial, or pretend everything is ok when it's not. Just creates an endless cycle of more problems and damage.

I am convinced that is why many of our marriages, family situations, relationships in general, work environments, and even many of our churches have major issues because leaders won't lead, people who are being taken advantage of, hurt, mistreated, abused, harassed, or walked on won't stand up.  Of if someone can't stand up for themselves, then those of us who are aware of it, need to stand up for those who are helpless, but many times don't.  Instead we make excuses, feel sorry, or simple pretend it's not there.

Many times we make excuses and feel sorry for people, so we "tolerate" their behavior or treatment, if they are sick or ill, they need help not sympathy.  Tough love is helping them, sympathy is hurting them. Sometimes we don't want to get involved, but if you don't who will? If others can't or won't do the right thing, how about you?  If you are in a position of leadership in the home, work, or even church you were put there for a reason, to lead.  You cannot lead effectively if you aren't willing to make tough decisions, deal with problems, and confront wrong.

Being a follower of Jesus doesn't mean being weak, timid, or blind.  Even those who do not follow Jesus have to have some sort of moral compass.  We cannot look the other way while people do wrong, hurt othters, or spin out of control. We cannot look the other way while people are hurt, suffer, and are pushed around.

Jesus stood up to sin, bullies, and He stood for those who were hurting and in need.  I think we are called to do the same thing. It's time that we get  a spine, get a backbone, and stop avoiding things because they make us uncomfortable or we are scared. I think it's time to stop running away because we don't want to get involved.  I think it's time that we stop ignoring things because we feel sorry for someone or don't want to make them mad or cause a riff.  Courage is not the absence of fear, it's responding through fear.  Real Character is standing up for what is right, even against oppostion or risk of making someone mad or even if you have to do it alone.

I want to encourage us all no matter the situation in life, if we are faced with an opporunity to confront a problem, deal with a tough issue, or right a wrong or help someone in need,  stop a bully, help a loved one or freind who is hurting themselves, or stop a conflict at work or church, we need to stand up!

Deuteronomy 31:6(NIV)

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

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