Meanies

Bullying is a hot topic these days.  Campaigns, movies, classes and assemblies all address the same thing…people doing mean things to other people.

This issue is not new.  People have been mean to one another since the beginning of time.  All you have to do is look in the Bible and you can find bullies as far back as Cane against Abel.  Cane was jealous because God was more pleased with Abel’s offering, so he killed him…eek!

People die even today because of bullying.

Perhaps it was a prank gone wrong or maybe it ended with the suicide of the person being bullied.  Regardless of the method, the result remains the same…the world is full of evil ones who prey on the weak and stop at nothing to get their way, which sometimes leads to death.

Sad….

Truly, we should remember often that Jesus Christ was the quintessential case of being bullied and it’s US who did the bullying.  Thankfully, His death led to the amazing miracle of GRACE for us all if we accept it.  However, the fact remains the same – we are all bullies in one way or another.

Don’t know about you, but I have been on both sides of this ‘bully’ coin.  Not that I was ever a full-fledged bully like you see on TV, but I’ve definitely been mean and hateful with my actions and words at different times in my life.  Sigh.

I still remember writing a nasty letter to a guy I was breaking up with in 7th grade who honestly had done nothing wrong except not be what I considered ‘cool enough’ for me to hang out with.  Childish…yes.  Hateful…absolutely.  Clearly, I can be mean as the next person and kids can often be the worst.

Another memory I have is of Senior Prom.  I wore this gorgeous white satin gown that made me feel like a princess.  After dancing for hours, my date and I walked into the cafeteria where everyone was talking, mingling and taking a break.  Without any forewarning at all, a girl from my class walked up to me with a full glass of Coke and threw it on my dress.

I was stunned…well, and drenched!

I never have found out why she did that to me.  But, I remember well my reaction.  I laughed out loud.  Not a fake laugh, but a full on belly laugh.  Guess what?  She looked silly and hateful and I had one of the best nights of my life.

The one thing that helped me in both of these scenarios was my relationship with Jesus Christ.

For one, I was haunted by my terrible behavior to that poor 7th grade fellow.  My conscience let me know loud and clear that I was wrong.  Being a Christ follower allows me to feel absolutely AWFUL when I’m not nice to others.  This is a great way to stay out of trouble because personally, I don’t like to feel bad.

In the Senior Prom situation, I had the self-confidence and assurance that the offensive girl was problem…not me.  My parents had taught me how to find security in myself by placing my life in God’s hands and to let Him deal with the meanies that I came across.  I continue to lean on these skills still today.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” Matthew 5:43-48

Since I’m now a parent of two boys who can be mean and have certainly been mean to others, I’m learning that often people are on both sides of this bully coin.

However, I’ve been disappointed to find many parents teaching their children that they are entitled to others being nice to them, instead of equipping them with words, actions and ways that help them in difficult situations. (Not that anyone should really care about what I think because my parenting skills have a lot to be desired….)

Of course, I think everyone should be nice to each other.  But, I would be doing my children a disservice to tell them that they deserve to be treated a certain way when that’s not how the world works and that is definitely not what they will find when they grow up and have to live in the real world.

In fact, the world will most likely be hateful and ugly, instead of hugging them when they need it most (like mommy would).

However, what I can do is teach my boys the way of Christ and pray that they will rest in His arms instead of wondering why the world isn’t being nice to them.

Christ taught us this same message and it would help us to teach our children the same.

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. John 15:18

Jesus Christ told us to love our neighbors as ourselves…this means bullies, meanies, murderers, those who hate us and more.  And if we think they don’t deserve it…well, just look in the mirror and ask if we deserve God’s Grace.

Therefore, be the example of what it means to love even when it’s hard to.  You’ll be glad you did!  Plus, little ones are watching.

Some Wisdom for Today:  Proverbs 6:16-19 – There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

2 Responses

  1. Words of wisdom!! Thx.

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