Why is there so much bullying? It seems to permeate every area of our society. It comes at you out of nowhere. It grabs your emotions and cuts deeper than a knife. Words like “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” seem absurd. Of course words hurt. They can be more deadly than any weapon.
What others think of us is highly important to most of us. A good name, a good work ethic an unsullied reputation are essential to our acceptance.
We need to get back to the basics of teaching our children that they are not only special to us, but that we love them and want them to succeed. We also need to let them know that Jesus loves them so much that he gave his life for them. In the process of teaching them that they are loved, we need to teach them that there are going to confrontations in life. We will be encountered with accusations, hatred, insecurity of others, unleashed with anger and all out meanness.
We see evidence of bullying in every area of life. The examples our children see on the news, on the streets, in the classroom, in our politics, in our churches, and everywhere they go will stick with them. These tender little shoots are growing up in a world of anger, concern for self alone and millions of reasons for people to fly off the handle. Those things must be harnessed and it begins at home.
We also need to help our kids recognize that those who bully are seeking attention. They are trying to look strong to their peers when they are really weak in their own eyes. Unfortunately, with the advent of the internet, social media, texting, etc. our young people are exposed to the world with all her flaws.
There once was a man who endured the most extreme physical and verbal abuse. His body was whipped beyond the severe limit of forty lashes. The beating caused not only extreme pain, but a tremendous loss of blood. Insects fed on his wounds. He was ridiculed, spat upon, dehydrated, bruised and constant taunting by his accusers.
His hands and feet were pinned to the cross with iron spikes. His head bore a crown of thorns which pierced his innocent head. His hair was filled with spit, sweat and blood. He was completely devoid of God’s presence as he carried the sins of the world to his death.
What he did for us is unimaginable. When we begin to feel like we aren’t important, all we have to do is look at Jesus to see what he was willing to do because of his love for us. We don’t deserve this gift, but he gave it freely.
To those who hurt us with words and deeds, we need only try to understand and forgive them. The Golden Rule has been long erased from our vocabulary. We may have differences of opinions. We may have unusual situations at work, home or free time. We may have neve known the love of God. Still His love comes with no strings attached. It is totally unconditional.
We are in the month of October, a time to recognize bullying for what it is and how to overcome it. It will only be repaired through love and there is no greater purveyor of love than Jesus, Christ, our Lord.