First of all, bullies are not new. We have had bullies since the beginning of time. One of my favorite bullying stories is from II Kings 2:23-24.
23 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!” 24 He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys.
Now, we can’t call down curses to have bears deal our bullies, but I believe the Bible gives us other more practical solutions.
Who is a bully?
A bully is someone who is insecure, jealous, or scared. Bullies often hurt other people so that no one will mess with them. They are over-compensating for their fears. There is a phrase we often use in counseling “hurt people, hurt people.” Bullies have been hurt by others, so they are now acting out their struggles at school or within the neighborhood. I understand that it is hard to have compassion on someone who may be hurting your child, but remember someone hurt that bully first.
Come back tomorrow for Part 2 of Grant's Article, Practical Advice for Dealing with Bullies
Actually, we shouldn’t be surprised when bullying occurs. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12)
People tried to bully Jesus throughout His entire ministry. Furthermore, He allowed himself to be bullied for our glorious redemption. So if your son or daughter is bullied that does not mean there is something wrong with your child; it means there is something wrong with our world. Reassure your child that their Savior was bullied and He understands what they are going through.
Grant Stenzel is a MS Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with Stenzel Clinical Services, Ltd. in Wheaton, Illinois.