The destruction of bullying
Bullying can be a killer. But what can I do about it as a Christian?
My blood is boiling. I’ve just read a story on CNN about a girl who was bullied so mercilessly that finally the only escape for her was to take her own life in front of the horrified eyes of her family. And I’m only too sharply aware that this is not the first story like this that I’ve read, and it’s not likely to be the last. It’s the horrifying truth that Satan and sin are the gods of this world, and people are appallingly blind to who and what they are serving.
The perpetrators of this crime had to have been acting deliberately. No one in this world that we live in can claim to be ignorant of knowing what the effects of bullying are. They were coldly and deliberately delighting in causing pain. And why? For a laugh? For revenge? Without a doubt for only utterly selfish reasons. They had to have known that what they were doing was wrong, yet they deliberately chose to do it anyway. They were under the power of Satan and sin.
What this girl, and now her family, have had, and continue to have, to go through are unthinkable. And this narrative has been continuously repeated throughout history. I’m absolutely sick of hearing these stories, and I’m tempted to just despair entirely on humanity’s behalf. How can the world be wrenched from the power of Satan, who is only out to kill and destroy?
But what can I do?
It would be only too easy to put my head down on my desk and weep. But what is that going to accomplish? If the world is under the power of Satan, it will be my mission in life to make sure that I at least am not. I personally have never bullied someone to the point that they wanted to take their own life, but I have a human nature, and if I don’t have a personal hatred for Satan and for sin, I too can be guilty of crimes against others. How many thoughtless words do I say; how much do I hurt people unthinkingly because I don’t care enough to be careful? I think we’re all guilty of that.
So it is a personal challenge for each individual. Will you be under the power of Satan as so many in this world are, as sheep following blindly wherever he leads them using their selfishness and ego to drive them to sin? Or will you throw down the gauntlet and go to war against him?
Why is the world so broken?
God’s Word is full of laws and commandments that teach humankind how to live. If every individual were to educate themselves in these teachings, and then live according to them, the entire world would live in perfect peace and harmony. No more bullying on any level. That was always God’s intention for the world. It’s sin that came in and destroyed everything. Listen to these verses from Galatians 5:22-23:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
Doesn’t it make perfect sense when you see those words written there that if everyone allowed themselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit so that their works reflected these virtues, instead of selfish, egotistical, sinful tendencies, the world would function beautifully? Everyone looking out for the other’s interests, instead of just thinking of themselves and self-gratification. (Philippians 2:4) How starkly different from the way the world works now. Instead of seeing how lovely, noble, pure, gracious and true these virtues are, people would rather gratify the lusts that come from their base human nature.
“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21.
The light of the world
There will always be those people who are so selfish, so blind, so cruel that they won’t see or care about the effects their actions have on others; how much misery and suffering they are inflicting. But as for myself, and all Christians, we have a task to do. We at least should be living in such a way that the virtues of Christ shine forth from our lives so that we are a light and example to everyone that we come into contact with. So that they can see that there is another way, a way of joy and peace, instead of sin and misery.
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16.
We have the very great grace and privilege of knowing that living according to the laws and commandments of God’s Word and letting ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit in our lives will cause righteousness to abound wherever we are. So it is our responsibility to live according to that, so that God can be glorified through our lives.
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” Philippians 2:3.