SERENDIPITY FOR SATURDAY

CANCER IN OUR FAMILY – BULLYING

Now that we know about bullying in secular society, what do we know how the Bible views this lack of love attitude? Are we aware that it ferments among believers in their workplace, home, fellowship, and church family? Let’s look at the history of bullying in the Bible. To begin with, listen to what King Solomon said about it. Here are six things God hates, and one more that he loathes with a passion: eyes that are arrogant, a tongue that lies, hands that murder the innocent, a heart that hatches evil plots, feet that race down a wicked track, a mouth that lies under oath, and a troublemaker (bully) in the family.

There were two hating bullies in the Bible, one in the First Covenant and one in the Final Covenant. For instance, Pharaoh is a perfect example of what a bully looks like.  Exodus chapter One shows many things that Pharaoh and his men did to Israel including: dealing shrewdly with them, keeping them slaves, afflicting them with heavy burdens, making them build store cities, made their lives bitter with hard service and calling the midwives to kill all newborn boys (the midwives did not obey Pharaoh). Pharaoh oppressed them because of his power trip.  He wanted to avoid losing his dominant status.  Of course, we know that God did deliver the Israelites from the hands of Pharaoh and set them free.  This is not the case always on earth, but be rest assured as God says, “Vengeance is Mine, and recompense, for the time when their foot shall slip; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and their doom comes swiftly.”[1] In the end God will make all things right.

Then we have Herodias. In Matthew 14:6-12 we read about Herodias, wife of King Herod, and how she used her daughter to accomplish her wicked agenda.  John the Baptist was very well known in the land.  He prepared the way for Jesus to come and baptized many people.  He was a threat to Herodias, in her mind.  So, when King Herod gave an oath to give his daughter anything she wanted, Herodias prompted her to ask for the head of John the Baptist.  This way, in her mind, she would maintain power through her husband as king.  This is bullying to the extreme.

The words below are lyrics from the song “Bully” by the secular band “Three Days Grace.”  This song sends a powerful message about those on the receiving end of bullying.  We were not meant to function this way and it should be no surprise when a victim finally lashes out at the bully.  Bullying is very prevalent in today’s schools and it is out of control. 

“Nobody knows it but today he won’t go unnoticed. 

He can’t forget; can’t forgive for what they said. 

He’s never been so hurt but today the screaming is over.

Blame the family.  Blame the bully.  Blame it on me. 

               Maybe he needed to be wanted. 

Blame the family.  Blame the bully. 

               Maybe he needed to be wanted.”

Does the Bible cover “bullying”?  Well, you won’t find the word “bully” in it, but you will find many stories of people who were bullies and there are lessons to be learned.  Here, the bully is referred to as he/him, but there are just as many girls that bully too.  Let us dive into scripture and see what the Bible says on this matter. The bully is someone who enjoys causing others pain and anguish.  He does not love kindness but rather hostility.  Therefore, he is in sin.  Unless the bully repents of his wrongdoing, he will face a much bigger bully in hell if he dies without accepting Jesus and changing his evil ways. Listen to the words of the prophet Micah:

            “People, the Lord has told you what goodness is.

                              This is what he wants from you:

               Be fair to other people.

                              Love kindness and loyalty, and humbly obey your God.”[2]

See if the following true stories ring a bell with you or someone you know: For Jamie, sometimes she dreaded so much going to school that she vomited and was too sick to go to school.  Sometimes she cried so much that her mother would agree to keep her home for that day and skip school.  This wasn’t some stories she made up to not go to school.  Jamie was in great pain emotionally and was suffering with chronic stomach pain, distorted vision, extreme anxiety and symptoms of depression. All these were due to the fact that she was the victim of bullying.”[3]

Then there’s Brandon, who developed PTSD, (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and Depression, after being harassed, tormented, isolated, assaulted and brutally beaten at school. One December Saturday, Brandon put a loaded gun to his head, pulled the trigger to end his pain.”[4]

It is just awful to see and hear what bullying does to victims.  These are only two precious kids who have been affected.  Bullying causes severe physical, psychological, and emotional trauma to victims as clearly shown in these two examples.  As parents, we need to stand up for our kids and do whatever we can to stop others from making victims of our children.


Compare and contrasting the heart of the bully versus the heart of the Christian we see:

The Bully’s HeartThe Christian’s Heart
Seeks PowerSeeks Service
Wants DominanceWants to obey
Plans wicked schemesPlans acts of kindness
Acts out in rageActs out in love
Enjoys inflicting pain on othersEnjoys helping others
Hates love and justiceHates injustice
Loves hatred and injusticeLoves justice
Relies on others to back them upRelies on God to back them up
Is motivated by putting others downIs motivated by lifting others up

The main thing is that at the heart of the matter bullies only focus on their well-being at the cost of others.  This sounds a lot like Satan.  He focuses only on his own wicked schemes too at the cost of anyone he can.  The Bible shows us what bullying looks like and how we are to conduct ourselves even in the midst of bullying: “But I [Jesus] tell you, love your enemies. Pray for those who treat you badly. If you do this, you will be children who are truly like your Father in heaven. He lets the sun rise for all people, whether they are good or bad. He sends rain to those who do right and to those who do wrong.’”[5] 

We need to stand for what is right by bringing attention to the bullies to the leaders in schools, but even more importantly we need to teach our kids to memorize scripture, pray for their enemies and understand where their self-worth should come from.  Some of you may know from personal experience what it is like to be bullied, and it is no fun.  But your heart and soul belong to God, and this is why you are who you are today.  If our sons and daughters understand that God is with them in the very hard time, [6] it won’t necessarily take the pain of the moment away, but it will encourage them to stay strong and fight the good fight![7]


[1] Deuteronomy 32:35

[2] Micah 6:8

[3] Article Source: ezinearticles.com/4691738

[4] Article Source: jaredstory.com/brandon.html

[5] Matthew 5:44-45 – Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

[6] 6 Ways to Praise God During Hard Times

[7] From an article by Derek Hill

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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