Every parent knows the effect a “bully” can have on their child’s mentality. In today’s world, bullying seems to be smothering our youth at every turn. As a parent we all want to join ranks and go to war with these “bullies’. Our children are called names, they are made fun of due to their circumstances, and they are judge by their peers due to rumors that these bullies start “all in fun”. When a “bully’s self esteem is at the bottom, they often look to bring those who are confident in themselves, to bring them down out of jealously, anger or just plain ol’ meanness. The strife, or in other words “teenage drama” that is often constantly stirred up does not always come from “growing” pains, but from “bullies” the ones the devil has chosen to use to attack our youth. The devil will begin by using certain young people that really have no attachment to the person being bullied, he then moves in on the ones that are closest to you.
So how do we fight a bully?? To begin with we need to realize that it is truly a spiritual war, not a natural war. The devil knows when God is calling a young person up to be a warrior in his kingdom so he tries to come in early to take them out. If the devil can keep our youth constantly stirred up in strife, hurt, anger and some even in depression, they cannot be effective in the plans that God has for them. The hardest part for me as a mom is to not go out on the “battle” field and just squeeze that little bully until their little ol eyes pop! There are times in the natural I want to make that person just as humiliated, embarrassed and hurt as they have made my child. But I can’t do that, that would make me a bigger bully and the cycle would continue. What would I be teaching my children? To fight fire with the same kind of fire!! God tells us we are to pray for our enemies.
· Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (NIV)
Let’s look at the message bible and go back one verse Matthew 5:43-44
43 "You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and its unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy
· I’m challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, (message bible)
For our youth to learn how to fight in the spirit, we as parents, leaders, grandparents etc… Must teach them to fight back with GOD’s word. After all, we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but sprits and principalities. We are to keep doing what is right in the sight of God and HE will win the battles set before us!!!!!There has been many times, I have failed as I allowed myself to go to war in the natural, so therefore my children saw that I relied on my flesh and not the LORD. I cannot emphasize enough the damage that does to the growth of our youth.
God words tells us “we are to train a child in the ways he is to go”
How are we training our youth for spiritual warfare? Or we as adults showing them eye for an eye per say or are we speaking God’s word into the situation? Are we praying with our children for the situations surrounding them and allowing God to show them how big he is in all areas of their lives?? Do we pray with our youth for those youth that are causing the strife, turmoil and “drama’ in their worlds, or are we giving those kids a verbal bashing?? To pray for our enemies doesn’t mean we condone or agree with what they are doing, it simply means we are giving them over to God, for him to touch their hearts, for truth to come out and prevail. To allow God to reach deep within these “bullies” and show them that “LOVE” conquers all. Not hate, not jealously and defiantly NOT going tic for tat!!! (Remember the old saying “two wrongs don’t make a right”)
Don’t think that adults are immune to “bullies”. There are adult bullies as well. We just fight on an adult level in the natural. Adults will use sophisticated words, clever little digs that appear to be harmless but in reality we are aiming low and hard.
· Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. NIV
· Proverbs 10:19 The more talk, the less truth: the wise measure their words (the message bible) ( the wise watch what they say and how they say it: Words can build a person up or tear them down)
When we allow our mouths to keep running and we are not praying for those who hurt us, we allow sin to overtake us with these words. We allow the hurt and anger to consume us until we are at the same level as the “bullies” And that is exactly where the devil wants us!! To train our youth, we are to lead by example and I have to admit there has been many times I have not been the example God wants me to be for my children. God understands our hurt, our anger etc. However showing that you are hurt or angry is not the problem, it’s our actions and our words that are. For example: Stating that you do not appreciate the things being said about you is ok: However if we return the favor back to the bully by name calling, or spreading gossip and rumors is not ok, that is the “sin” of our words. God instructions us to pray for our enemies, no where does he say “stir the pot”
However when the “bullies” in life come at us, if we all were to stop and look at it from that point of view and realize it’s a spiritual war, start speaking God’s word into the situation, pray for our enemies our vision would never get to the point of being clouded. I am not saying certain issues don’t need to be addressed. What I am saying it is how we address them, the words we choose and the actions we take. We can teach our youth to be pro active or we can show our children to be a bigger bully. God clearly tells us to LOVE those who curse us. We are to show Godly love in all situations, by spilling more gas on the fire is only going to create a bigger fire, one that will burn up all the blessings God has for us.
You may ask how am I to “love” someone that is bullying me?? To love is to show Godly love, not fleshly love. Godly love is to pray for them, to ask God to forgive them for their actions, to ask God to bless them, to ask God to prosper them. You have then shown Godly love, now God will take over from there. Showing Godly love does not mean that you stay involved in that situation, hang out with that person or persons or to follow their lead and become a bully right along with them.
For those that are being “bullied” whether it is with untrue statements, gossip, demeaning your character, jealous of your achievements. God’s word tells us in
but no weapon that can hurt you has ever been forged. Any accuser who takes you to court will be dismissed as a liar. This is what God's servants can expect. I'll see to it that everything works out for the best." God's Decree. ( the message bible)
We as parents, pastors, leaders and other family members can pray for our youth, however if all our youth would stand up and start declaring God’s word over their own situation and show the devil he will not steal the blessings God is lovingly pouring out over you, the “bullies” will not win!!!
1Peter 3:8-12 The Message Bible
8 Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. 9 That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless - that's your job, to bless. You'll be a blessing and also get a blessing. 10 Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, Here's what you do: Say nothing evil or hurtful; 11 Snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you're worth. 12 God looks on all this with approval, listening and responding well to what he's asked; But he turns his back on those who do evil things.
I read this statement once and it really hit my heart, “Do you know that every time God gives you a miracle, he causes your enemies heart to melt? What that says to me is that every time I obey what God tells me to do concerning my enemies, he will in return bless me with a miracle and by this my enemies heart will soften (melt). See God will take care of the bully on his terms and in his time. The only thing we are responsible for are our actions. Do we obey God’s word and reap his blessings, or do we ourselves become a bully?
The devil is going to try and take you out, make no mistake about that. However we can all continue to stand against the bullies of the world as long as we continue to do what Jesus tells us, after all if he can be beaten, stripped, whipped, nailed to a cross and STILL prayed for those who did all these things to him, why shouldn’t we be able to pray for our accusers? Jesus actually asked God to forgive those who had beaten him, taunted him, pierced his side, stripped him naked and nailed him to a cross for him to die a slow painful death. Jesus knew that the devil was using them to take him out, and he still prayed for them up on that cross as he slowly died. See Jesus knew that God had a bigger plan for him; he knew that by being obedient to his Father’s word that he would be victorious when it was all said and done. Sometimes we all have to go through a little fire to become victorious in this life, but that doesn’t mean we have to become what the world is telling us to be.
We pray for those that curse us, we forgive those that harm us; we love those that falsely accuse us. That is how we over come all the bullies in this world.
I encourage all our youth and adults, if you know of someone that is battling a bully, or you know someone who is the bully, pray for them. Ask God to bless them. It doesn’t have to be a long sophisticated prayer. Just ask him to bless them, to remove whatever it is in their life that is causing them to be full of anger, jealously or strife. Then claim over the person being bullied that no weapon formed against them will prosper. After that just tell God thank you for what he is doing in that situation. Watch God’s blessings fall like rain!!!
Just some food for thought for our youth as they start a new school year…