Friday, November 11, 2011

Sticks and Stones

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me!

Bullying is a current day issue - one that's been around for a long time. Even in Biblical times bullying played out.  Many people bullied Jesus.  Luke 22:63-65 tells of one such incident:

"The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. They blindfolded him and demanded, 'Prophesy! Who hit you?' And they said many other insulting things to him."

These were painful words unjustly spoken to a perfect savior.

How did He handle it? Even in the midst of persecution, Jesus asked His father to forgive them, stating how they didn't know what they were doing (Luke 23:34).

I've been bullied. In the 7th grade, I became the object of bullying on my bus. Every day before and after school, I endured relentless verbal abuse.

I thought of the above phrase, but having lived it, knew that it wasn't true. Their words did hurt. They ended up having an effect on my psyche for years to come. I didn't find complete healing from the pain of my childhood until I went to counseling and allowed God to teach me how to truly forgive. But the scars of those wounds will always be there.

This week, a 9th grader at our public school had her arm sprained by a school bully. According to the news, she has been enduring verbal abuse for two years now.

Should we teach her the above phrase and expect her to move on, unscathed by the event?


Proverbs 18:21a says, "The tongue has the power of life and death."

Romans 10:10 says, "For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

Our words are filled with power. Words will either edify or destroy the listener.

When we know of someone who is being bullied, we need to acknowledge the pain they've experienced and direct them to God. He is the only one who can heal the wounds of the soul.

And to the bully, we need to teach them the power of words, too. They need Jesus just as much as the one being bullied. The real reason people bully is because they are hurting inside.

Be careful to choose your words wisely, and teach these truths to our children. There's great power in the tongue.


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