Posted by: smstrouse | October 6, 2010

Time to Put a Stop to Bullying

I was bullied in junior high, middle school it’d be called today. Looking back, I can see that my life was made miserable by just a couple of obnoxious boys. But because their bullying was picked up by other kids and ignored by adults, it felt like I was totally alone in the world.

I was a gawky, shy, socially backward kid from a dysfunctional family (I know, hard to believe!), and bullies know how to go after the most vulnerable of the herd. I didn’t know that, so I took it all to heart. And the wound that almost killed my soul, while healed, has nevertheless left a scar that will always be with me.

But – I survived.  So many do not. News of the young men who committed suicide last month after being bullied for being gay or perceived to be gay has cast the spotlight on the horrific effects of bullying.

What these deaths remind me is that bullying kills. Bodies and spirits.  And none of us can ignore this epidemic. So what can we do? I think about what I wished someone had done for me – and some did.  But we can do more.

We can:

  • Stand up for those who are vulnerable.  And teach our kids to do the same.
  • Provide a ‘safety zone’ of unconditional love at home for our children.
  • Do the same in our churches – for all the children.
  • Be a friend to a vulnerable kid. Cultivate self-esteem in every child.
  • Demand a ‘No Bullying’ policy in every school.
  • Demand intervention training for every teacher.
  • Become educated about cyber bullying.
  • Listen. Love.  Advocate.
  • Take the power away from the bullies.
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Responses

  1. Well I wish we could get all those reality shows off the air where they show that bullies and bullying as thought it was a normal thing to do.

    If there was one thing I could change in the world it would be TV that show violence and putting others down as some form of entertainment. I think it make people less sensitive to what can be hurtful and harmful to others.

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  2. Many Christians are strong enough to let themselves be punching bags for bullies and take it patiently. But bullies must be dealt with firmly, to the full extent of the law. They only learn that they can get away with it if no one stops them. What you can bear for yourself, weaker people can’t bear. Automatic forgiveness doesn’t always soften hearts, and if the bullies are allowed to go on harassing and hurting people, they could end up destroying somebody without the inner strength to bear up well under the abuse.

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  3. Abusing handicapped people is particularly wicked. God doesn’t just curse the sin, He rejects the hardened, unrepentant sinner, whether that one is an adult or a child.

    Lev. 19:14: Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.

    Lev.27:18: Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way. And all the people shall say, Amen.

    2 Kings 2:23: 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.

    Verse 24: And he (Elisha) 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.

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