Sadly a world of adults that created a slew of anti-bullying campaigns, programs, and laws just a few years ago to protect our children have themselves become bullies.
These same children that we meant to protect are watching!
Before we dive into this topic, I want to make clear who this post is for. This is for:
the Christian bully;
the non-Christian bully;
the Republican bully;
the Democrat bully;
the White bully;
the Black bully;
the male bully;
the female bully; and
ALL of the adult bullies in the United States of America and this world who torment their children, their spouses, their family members, their pastors, their church members, their students, their colleagues, their co-workers, their government – and anyone else that I may have inadvertently left out.
If that’s you, #StopBullying!
Bullying has crossed denominations, political parties, ethnicities, races, genders, cities, states, and countries. It is a worldwide pandemic and there seems to be no end.
The people doing the bullying seem to think it is okay to bully as long as it is a group or individual that they disagree with. They feel empowered and even justified when doing this. At the same time, they feel the need to call out the group or individual when they stand up for themselves or when they retaliate and return the same treatment.
I remember one day last year when I was sitting in a church service of a well-known pastor who said he was somewhere and saw a man “dressed like a girl”. He said the man talked like a girl. The pastor was so angry at this man. He began to mimic him and started gesturing and talking as he said the man was gesturing and talking. The pastor said, “I wanted to say, shut up you freak!” The congregation broke out in laughter. I could sense his anger and disdain for this man. I was hurt by the behavior of this pastor and the response that came from the congregation. I was embarrassed and ashamed to be there at that moment as it was being televised. I did not want to be associated with that behavior. I was thinking, should we make fun of people – bully or harass them? Isn’t it our duty to love and pray for the lost? Where was the compassion that Jesus had? It was at that moment I decided I did not want to be a part of that community of believers.
Most recently, I logged on to Twitter and saw hundreds if not thousands of people bullying a politician not for his politics, but for the way he looked. They laughed at him, posted memes about him, and they called him names. It went on for a full day. I am not familiar with this man, but what I know is that he is a human being with feelings. I know that God created Him and God doesn’t make any mistakes. Weeks later, this man had a stroke and was hospitalized for depression.
I never thought I’d see the day when Pastors and government leaders would be bullied to this degree. Neither did I think I would see Pastors bullying those to whom we should be ministering.
“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” ~ Hebrews 13:17
WHAT DO WE AS CHRISTIANS DO ABOUT THIS?
None of us are perfect. We all get caught up in sin. So, if you find yourself becoming angry about the things going on in society or you find yourself joining in when others are bullying groups or individuals, do this:
Pay attention to your own behaviors when dealing with other people you disagree with and correct and adjust your behavior where necessary.
Be kind to people from all walks of life. You never know what someone else is going through or what they have been through.
As many of us heard growing up, if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.
Turn the other cheek. (Matthew 5:39)
Learn to walk away. (John 10:39)
Be angry and sin not. (Ephesians 4:26-27)
If you become the target of bullying, do like Jesus did when dealing with His accusers:
He prayed for them (Luke 23:34).
He kept silent (Luke 23:9).
He went away from them (John 10:39).
He stood up to them (Mark 3:20-35).
There were other times when He quoted scriptures (Matthew 4:1-11).
Jesus did what was appropriate for each situation.
“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” ~ Luke 23:34
“Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.” ~ Luke 23:9
“Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,” ~ John 10:39
“Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.” ~ Matthew 4:10-11
BULLYING IN THE BIBLE
Elisha was bullied by some children:
“And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.” ~ 2 Kings 2:23-24
Jesus’ family bullied Him:
“When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind. Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”” ~ Mark 3:21, 31-35 (NIV)
Jesus was bullied by teachers of the law:
“Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.” So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.” ~ Mark 3:20, 22-30 (NIV)
Jesus was bullied, tormented, and mocked by the government:
“When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!” Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.” ~ Matthew 27:24-31 (NIV)
Jesus was bullied, mocked, and tormented before His death:
“And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, This Is The King Of The Jews. And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” ~ Luke 23:33-43
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’” ~ John 15:18-25 (NIV)
“Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.” ~ Luke 6:22-23