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February 27, 2015


Text: “The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalms 27:1

Much has been reported in the media regarding bullying. At nearly all schools there are  incidents of  fights, threats and outright violence.  The dictionary defines a bully as “a blustering browbeating person”. This phenomenon has been around since the world began and is present in every level of society. Each of us could probably tell of an incident of being bullied perhaps in adulthood, but mostly in your childhood. In junior high school, gym was a frequent place for bullying. One day in gym we were playing “war” or “dodge ball” (gym teachers disappear during this activity). I must have irritated this boy in some way because he cornered me and raged in my face. Then he produced a silver ring with a saddle on the shank. The pommel on the front of the saddle had been sharpened and was like the point of a nail, and a few blows on my face could have made me uglier than I am. I learned to grovel very quickly and escaped the beating. My feelings were embarrassment, terror, and shame. Pretty heavy duty anxiety.  Adults do not outgrow this habit. There is an old bumper sticker that reads “My kid can beat up your Honor Student“.  Is it possible that kids learn to be bullies from their parents?

The Bible has something to say about this problem. Not in a succinct paragraph all tied up with a ribbon, but recognizable nevertheless. Begin with the foundational principles and add to them as they are revealed. What it takes to end up the better person in these confrontations is unceasing work to stick to your Christian teaching.  Life is tough, but true saints must be tougher!  

No, not by taking karate lessons.  Not by  enlarging your arsenal of sarcastic ripostes. Not by inventing put downs to embarrass your opponent. Not by demonstrating how mean you can be. Toughness in a follower of Christ comes from a tender heart. It is studying the teachings of the Bible and adopting them as the only way you are going to live. It is letting other people see how you have been changed by learning the word of Christ and applying it every day in your life.

In order to save pain and discouragement you must prepare your soul.

First, you must firmly determine whose you are! Are you the servant of Satan, or the servant of God? When bullies “get in  your face” will you desert God and default to Satan?   Always remember, “No one can serve two masters.”  Matthew 6:24  “Know that the Lord Himself is God; it is he who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are his people, and the sheep of his pastures.” Psalm 100:3  Walk every day as  his obedient sheep. Whether life is threatening or  tranquil, your assurance of the shepherd’s care comforts and leads you to follow only him. Listen only to his words.  “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they will never perish, and none will snatch them out of my hand.”  John 10:27-28

Second, trust implicitly in the Lord’s care and protection. When severe threats of everyday life appear,  the unsure Christian  often  abandons trust and embraces fear. What is lacking? FAITH, no doubt. Another answer may be self conceit.  Get some backbone! There are so many reasons to trust God to see you through. The much oppressed apostle Peter insists in giving this exhortation: “…casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” I Peter 5:7

Third, you must learn to establish peace within your own heart. Tranquility within the heart fosters peace in society. In fact, when others see peace and calm in your actions they will begin to support to your peacemaking efforts. Jesus was “prince of peace” (Isaiah 9:6) The Lord said to us, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  John 14:27

Last,  don’t let anger spoil your efforts. Anger is destructive and enflaming. It is inappropriate in your heart. It is incendiary when it is heaped upon others. Keep your heart merry and your rhetoric calm. “A soft answer turns away  wrath, but a harsh word stores up anger.” Proverbs 15:1  Squelch anger. Promote peace.

When the bully appears next, will you be ready?



























































































One Comment
  1. Larry Shelley permalink

    I think you’ve really outdone yourself on this one. So practical. Such good solutions in a Christian, Biblical manner.–Larry

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