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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Evangelism: The Christian Anti-Bullying Initiative

If you can separate "mild" teasing from bullying I was never really bullied outright, but have often been marginalized and shunned by peers for being unable to fit into a certain mold.

For this reason, I often found it better safer to watch certain social interactions from afar because it wasn't worth getting directly involved and facing the risk of rejection.

Please understand that I am not trying to paint myself as a victim; I have a cadre of amazing friends and family who are very supportive. 

 I simply want the reader to understand that probably like you, I have a personal connection to the subject of bullying.

There was no "aha" moment that offset the insecurities that came from repeated peer rejection, but it was a gradual understanding that my self-worth is not defined by who likes me, how many friends I have, how well I can compete, or how well I can conform.

Change started when I began to find myself in the person of Jesus Christ, and suddenly who was paying attention to me or what negative things people were saying to me or about me mattered very little.

I could dare to love and not worry about being broken, because I was no longer afraid of brokenness.

I could reach out with the love of Jesus, like never before because I had been brought down low, and experienced the rejuvenation and splendor that a personal encounter with the love of Jesus brings.

Not that I hadn't experienced these things before, but that in allowing God to carry me through the fire, I gained a new perspective on who I am and who He is, and my faith was strengthened as a result

Like the song says, "I still slip, I still fall, but I always run back to you".

I'm not perfected yet, and I still fall back into some of my seclusionary and self-deprecating tendencies, but I know it is in Jesus where I am found and derive my meaning and purpose, which means no one and nothing can take it away from me.

Jesus Christ has done for me (and so many others) what no self-help seminar, no treatment, no anti-bullying or "be yourself" initiative could ever do: he gave me hope and life that transcended everything else in the world, so that no matter what else was going on I know I am standing firm on a rock that can not be shaken.

For even though I was a undeserving sinner, Jesus Christ died for me.

That is the Christian bullying initiative: knowing and loving Jesus, and taking pains to help others know and love him as well.

We have a sacred duty as people of God to stand up for those who are being bullied, marginalized, and beaten down.

In Amos chapter 5, the prophet Amos chides God's people on God's behalf.


Amos explains:
I hate, I despise your religious festivals;
    your assemblies are a stench to me.
22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
    I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
    I will have no regard for them.
23 Away with the noise of your songs!
    I will not listen to the music of your harps.
24 But let justice roll on like a river,
    righteousness like a never-failing stream!"

Does this passage describe you? 

Is your life full of outward gifts to God, but devoid of justice and righteousness?

Satan's goal is to break the one being bullied, to make them think there is no hope and that they're worthless.

Or,  just as well, to help find their "hope" in something temporal and carnal, away from God, that gives the appearance of stability, but in the end will come crashing down around them.
For the Bible says: "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death". (Proverb 16:25)

It is our duty as Christians to make sure that doesn't happen, by the grace and power of God.

Are you with me so far?

Then let's switch gears for a moment.

Like I said earlier, I am not a victim.

While I've never shoved someone into a locker or gone out of my way to verbally abuse a person, I have long struggled with gossip and controlling my tongue.

I cringe when I look back at me "younger" days and the "off the cuff" comments I'd make to people without thinking.

Sarcasm, was the name of the game, and if you attacked me, I'd attack right back.

I remember telling a girl that I was raised better than her.

I remember bragging to a boy in 2nd grade that I was smarter that him.

I sometimes treated friends like dirt because I was insecure and controlling.

I've said things to family members that are simply shameful.

Believe me I am not a victim.

Why am I you telling all of this?

Because, as Christians, we must preach that God's love is not just for the bullied, but for the bully as well.

Many man-made endeavors that deal with bullying have little or nothing to offer the bully, which is what makes Christianity unique among secular anti-bullying programs.

This is important, because in one way or another we've all been bullies.

Our message is that Christ's blood was shed for all, available to all, and intended for all. (1 John 2:2)

As Christians, we can offer the oppressed and their oppressors freedom in Christ, the joy of knowing and loving God, deliverance from sin and self, and the promise of new Life, among so many other things.  

So I urge you to actively stand against thugs, and stand up for the oppressed, with love and care, and to lift high name of Jesus, so that all men (bullies and the bullied) might leave the mire of their circumstances and cast all their cares upon the One who cares for them.

For it is in Jesus, alone, that bullying meets its match.


  1. So...let's bully them into believing in god! You will burn in hell if you don't believe.. plus if you believe, then you can let things slide and just wait for a blessed death. Let's not worry if we make good decisions, because GOD will do them for you! All Hail Our King of King! The Maker of All Things! I know my enemies will see the wrath of god one day, so I spit on their defiance and cursed lands. All Hail King Jesus! Let the bully have hot coals set upon his head in a clear way as to punish him into submissive prayers of god. Hail God! Let him see the light of our King and feel the pain all of his bullying! The hot coals of Jesus will pull him into the light and free him of his bullish ways and bring him close to Christ! All Hail the King!!

    1. Please don't content yourself with sardonic sentimentalities and sophomoric caricatures, for the human mind was meant for so much more.