Bullying is a topic that has plagued our society for years. How does one face their bullies?
Bullying can be viewed as an on-going and deliberate misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that intends to cause physical, social and/or psychological harm. It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power, or perceived power over one or more persons who feel unable to stop it from happening.
Of course, as human beings, our new norm is to research it on Google. "Hey Google, how do we deal with bullies?"
The usual answers range from being confident, staying in groups, avoiding the bully, telling an adult or person with authority, standing up for yourself and ignoring the bully, amongst other strategies and techniques. While I mostly agree on these tactics, the best one, to me, is prayer.
Yes, I wrote it, P R A Y E R
I can imagine you're like, "What a typical Christian response, "Pray about it or take it to the Lord in prayer," but, if we really and truly have a relationship with Christ in which we know that he is with and for us, that he will keep his promises to us, then we should not be rolling our eyes or sighing at this fundamental truth.
The promise that we are holding onto, concerning our bullies, is the promise that the Lord will fight for, with and through us.
I believe that seeking the Lord in prayer is the most bulletproof plan there is.
We believe in a God that is all-knowing and all-powerful, a God that protects and leads us with or without asking him. Think about how much we could avoid confrontations, heartaches and unnecessary drama, among other things, if we only apply Psalm chapter 55 verse 22,
"Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved,"
or implement Philippians 4:6-7
''Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God."
When we pray, we ask God to remove self and allow Him to direct and lead us. This means to direct where we go (to avoid the bully), direct what we say (if confronted by our bully or if asked questions about our situation with the bully), to direct what we think of our bully and situation (as being bullied by someone can cause us to hold grudges and resentment towards the person) and to direct us to peace of mind (about the situation and how we feel about ourselves).
We need Gods guidance in these situations because it is not easy to ignore someone, it is not easy to stand up to them, it is not easy to stop yourself from absorbing their energy and imparting it on yourself and others.
Remember, bullies can be anyone (our parents, our friends, our siblings and sometimes even us) and the ways to deal with it are to give God control and abide by his word.
God tells us in Matthew 5:38-41, ‘You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.'
And we might look at this and say allow them to do what?! And risk my pride and humiliation?
But God answers our hesitation with this in Romans 12:19-20,
'Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing, you will heap burning coals on his head.’
In Leviticus 9:18, God reminds us that 'You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the Lord.’ The only way to not hold vengeance or bear a grudge for your bullies: or to even begin to love them is, to ask God to help you to forgive them each day, and to give you the patience and strength to go through this persecution (bullying).
We must remember that Jesus is not new to bullying; he is a living example of suffering in innocence, yet, he prayed when things got hard and prayed when they were bearable.
Do you remember Matthew 5:43-48,
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy'? But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?”
Isaiah 41:11-13, sums up the essence of praying consistently (as prayer is not a one-time thing and God is not our express machine) to God about our problems (bullies) and waiting patiently on his timing.
‘Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all. For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’
Keep on reading to learn more to help you be more like a jewel on God´s crown
¨ The LORD their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown.¨ Zechariah 9:16 NIV
My name is Serena Richards and I, along with other helpful contributors, and of course the inspiration of God have written these posts as a source of help FOR YOU <3