Jan 12, 2008

Being pushed around...

I wasn't bullied that much as a youngster.   There was one young man named Scott that didn't seem very happy with his life.   He was always angry at everyone.   Every once in awhile his anger would turn to me.   I learned the signs and learned to avoid him.   Then there was Pat.   He brought a knife to school one day and threatened us all with it.   I don't think he would have used it, but the school sure did.   Even back in the mid seventies that was cause for suspension.   That was the last straw for my mother.   After six children and countless phone calls to the school, she'd had enough.   The next year she enrolled me in a Lutheran school where I completed my elementary training.


Bullying has been in the news a lot lately.   A bully is someone who is mean and attacks other people with words or actions. They use teasing, threats, or strength to pick on, frighten, or hurt someone or take what they want.     And it has been on the increase.   Or better, reports of bullying have been on the increase.   This has prompted the Boy Scouts of America to do something about it.  


According to a recent report out of Dallas, Texas, newcomers to the Boy Scouts will learn Scout-approved ways to avoid being pushed around and called names.   The 2008 Scout Handbook gives examples of ways to stand your ground and express your feelings to bullies.   According to Jim Terry, assistant chief executive of the Boy Scouts, this isn't something new.   They have always emphasized how to recognize and prevent bullying.   This new material is simply "...a reinforcement of those principles...   They even cover cyberbullying so that scouts can learn how to show restraint when taunted online.


In Matthew 5:39 Jesus said, "But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also...   This might appear like we are supposed to allow people to bully us, but if you look in the previous verse, Jesus is using this example to refute "an eye for an eye...   Jesus is reinforcing that we should not return evil for evil.   There is nothing wrong with standing up for ourselves.   This is what the Boy Scouts is encouraging and this is good.


But Christians have an ace in the hole when it comes to bullying.   We are not alone.   Even when the world throws all it can at us, Jesus is there right beside us.   And no amount of bullying will ever separate us from His love.  



Pastor David Hook

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