By Ginger Solomon
Raise your hand, or an eyebrow if you’re reading this somewhere besides the privacy of your home, if you’ve known or experienced a bully? 0/
I grew up with a few bullies, even resorted to fighting to end the harassment. Of course, I don’t suggest that route, but it worked for me (because I won). I mean it was the 1970’s when bullies didn’t have guns or knives, or armed friends. 🙂
I’ve never quite understood the “need” to harass someone until they cry, or worse commit suicide. Psychologists/psychiatrists say it’s their need for control, or to be better than someone. But how long does that feeling last? An hour? Fifteen minutes? Does it really make them feel like a better person to stuff a classmate’s head in the toilet and flush? Or to call names.
The old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” is wrong. Words hurt. Bruises, and broken bones heal with time, but the words we fling about randomly–whether through bullying or gossip–tend to penetrate deep into the soul and rise up whenever we feel vulnerable or down.
James 3:6(NLT) says, “And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.”
Then we find in Matthew 12:36, “And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.”
That’s some strong stuff.
We think of bullying as a childhood problem, but it’s not. It just takes a different form once we leave the classroom. Ever heard a bunch of ladies snickering about someone? Or a few men (though admittedly, men rarely backbite in this way) discussing a friend’s house/car/wife? Perhaps a few words are spoken louder than others…”I can’t believe she wore THAT.” Or something similar. Adult bullying. And very sad.
Even more sad is the husband (or wife) who humiliates or beats their spouse. Bullying.
I think bullying boils down to one person, or a group of people, making someone else feel inferior, for some convoluted, selfish reason.
I’ll not ask you to share your experiences, but if you have experienced bullying, know you are not alone and what they say is a lie from the devil. God loves you and created you for a specific purpose. If you are currently being bullied (at home or work), tell someone.
Writing Prompt: Melissa ducked her head and walked down the hall. Maybe no one would notice how red her face must be–if the heat radiating from her cheeks were any indication. Mr. Van Horn had made it clear she had to do as he said or be fired. But how could she…