I wrote last week about Cyberbullying and how I felt that the best way to attack this issue was to help the bullied stop becoming victims. I think my post could be summed up in saying that a bully’s words only have enough power as we let them. The only way to weaken their words is to strengthen our own identity, which can only occur through Christ.
I wrote that post and felt good about it…for about five minutes.
Then, I began to think about something I wrote a few months back:
Moralism tells us to love and care for the victim, the oppressed and unloved.
Jesus leads us to love both the victim and the victimizer, the oppressed and oppressor, the unloved and unloving.
He leads us to show compassion and mercy, to seek justice and reconciliation.
This has been His approach to us, His redeemed sinners saved by grace, and it is to be our approach to an unredeemed world.
Jesus loved us when we were unloving. He died for us while we were still His enemies. We are, in essence, His murderers, rebels against His divine sovereignty. And yet, He had mercy upon us. How can we treat others differently? One of the Bible’s greatest heroes became such after having been a huge, murderous bully. Ever heard of Saul of Tarsus? Yeah, no wonder Paul changed his name.
I feel like bullying (online and off) has become an issue that everyone can unite around in demanding justice. Maybe the Church can set itself apart by being the safe place for bullies to become better people. Let’s not forget that many bullies act as they do because they too have been bullied. So, before we rush out with pitchforks and torches, let’s try to offer bullies a bit of mercy. They may accept it, and it may be a transformative experience.
Have you ever been bullied? Did you want to bully others as a result?