Matthew 23:13-19 (KJV) But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. 14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. 15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. 16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! 17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? 18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. 19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?
I find it interesting that so many people are talking about bullies today – it seems to be on YOU TUBE, on television, and in the magazines. A recent Focus On The Family article deals with bullying. It seems as if it is an epidemic. Truthfully though, there have always been bullies.
When I was a young boy going through school every single day was a terror and a misery for me. I was a shy child, wore glasses, and very overweight. This set me up for every bully in the school. When I rode on the bus the bullies would make every effort to painfully thump my ears while I sat. I would be minding my own business when – WHAP – someone would smack my ears or the back of my head. If I turned around someone would ask “What are you looking at, faggot?”, and if I opened my mouth they would punch me in the face. Getting on the bus I was often tripped. Getting off the bus, I was pursued. When I went to the restroom I was mocked, pushed, or thrown into toilet stalls. In class bullies shot spitwads at me – pieces of paper chewed up and shot through drinking straws. I think they got extra points for putting a wet piece of paper in the ears. There were three of us who were bullied – myself, Ricky, and Benny. I remember once when a bully jumped on Ricky I walked away, leaving him behind. Why? Because the bully’s accomplice is FEAR.
Bullies twisted my self image. When I was 16 years old I ran away from home, driving from North Carolina to Malibu Beach in California before being caught. When the authorities returned me to my parents I rebelled, telling them that I was done with being where I was. I left home at 16, worked for a living, and finished High School on my own. Though I had no court papers I was in essence a “liberated individual” – and the bullies left me alone. I met the Lord Jesus Christ when I was 17 years old, joined the United States Air Force, and remained in the military service until I retired. Through all that I learned something you all need to know.
1. The bullying stopped when I said “NO!” People are fond of quoting “Turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39), and it is good to give people a second chance – but bullies will beat you to death if you let them. No one can fight your battles for you. Stand up for what’s right. Jesus never cow-towed to the bullies. If you read Matthew 23 you’ll see He tore them apart verbally – and rightfully so. Have faith in God, and stand up for yourself. The Bible says:
2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Fear God, not man. Better to be beaten up by a bully than to let that foolish person destroy your life. School should be a place of learning, of friendship, of discovering yourself and learning your potential. Don’t let human garbage turn you into garbage.
2. Stand up for yourself. Bullies are cowards. They always sit together. They are people of low self esteem who love to run in packs. They are in schools, in work places, and yes, even in Churches. Bullies love to strike – like wolves – and if caught love to justify their evil with reason. Bullies rejoice in power. A stronger man who is a bully will beat up a smaller woman. Coward! Two or three girls will mock the shy school girl. Cowards! A group who want to run the Church will start a whisper campaign to slander those not in their group. Cowards! Stand up against bullies. If you let a bully get their way today, they will want more tomorrow. They are never satisfied, and will not change until confronted or jailed. If you are assaulted on school property, tell the authorities. If they do nothing, dial 911 and have the other child arrested. Stand up for yourself, or you will forever be tormented.
3. Confront the ringleaders, and call them out. I was watching a western movie the other day when a mob moved toward the jail, intent on lynching someone. The Sheriff drew his gun and started talking to the mob. “Joe, you’ll be the first one I shoot. Harry, you’re next. I’ve got twelve bullets, and I’m a pretty good shot. You may kill me, but boys, – that includes you, Sam – at least nine of you will go with me”. Now I’m not saying take a gun and shoot anyone, but you need to separate and confront the ringleaders. Use the authorities. Call the police and name names. Don’t let the mob be run by the bullies – call them out by name, and report them by name. Bullies hate the light.
4. Please ….. don’t consider suicide. You are not helping yourself nor others when you take your own life. This I found on a site dealing with bullying:
“Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7 percent have attempted it. Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University. A study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying. 10 to 14 year old girls may be at even higher risk for suicide, according to the study above. According to statistics reported by ABC News, nearly 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying, and 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying.” www.bullyingstatistics.org
If you kill yourself the bullies win. When you die these people will just go on and find someone else to torment. Stand up for yourself. Turn to God for help, and resist these devils – they will flee. Talk to those in authority – parents, teachers, principals, law enforcement officials, pastors. Tell them what you are going through. Don’t be ashamed – remember, bullies are cowards. Stand up for yourself. God doesn’t make garbage, but we can choose to be garbage. Refuse to be garbage. Stand against the bullies. Ask others to help you. In the words of Nancy Reagan, “Just say NO!” Call on God in Christ.
Hebrews 13:6 (KJV) ….. The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
God does not want you bullied. I do not want you bullied. Only the cowardly bully wants you to be bullied. Refuse to be their toy. You belong to God!