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What Does The Bible Say About Bullying?

“He wakes up haunted with voices in his head.  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.”

Above are lyrics from the song “Bully” by the secular band “Three Days Grace.”  I think 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.  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.  For excessive typing purposes I will refer to the bully 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.

Bullying is a sin

Micah 6:8 – “He (God) has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

It is a heart issue: the heart of the bully relies on others to back him up [1]

It is a heart issue: the heart of the bully relies on others to back him up

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 [2] of his wrongdoing he will face a much bigger bully in hell if he dies without accepting Jesus and changing his evil ways.

God’s View

Proverbs 6:16-19 – “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” 

These verses speak about the core of the bully’s heart.  The bully is proud (haughty).  He will lie.  He does run sometimes to shed blood.  He most definitely devises wicked plans and runs swiftly to do his evil works.  The bully usually finds his self-worth in making others lower than himself.  That is why he keeps bullying.  It is a power trip for him.  He doesn’t realize that God hates the things he is doing.

Bullies In The Bible

Pharaoh (Old Testament)

Pharaoh is a perfect example of what a bully looks like.  Exodus chapter 1 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 [3]oppressed them because of his power trip.  He did not want to lose 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.” (Deut 32:35)  In the end God will make all things right.

Herodias (New Testament)

In Matthew 14:6-12 we read about Herodias, wife of King Herod, and how she used her own 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.

Today – The Victims (Real Stories)

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.” [1]

Brandon

“Brandon developed PTSD, (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and Depression, after being harassed, tormented, isolated, assaulted and brutally beaten in our public school system…On 12/16/00 Brandon put a loaded gun to his head, pulled the trigger and ended his pain.” [2]

It is just awful to see and hear what bullying does to victims.  These are only 2 precious kids that have been affected.  Bullying causes severe physical, psychological, and emotional trauma to victims as clearly shown in these 2 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.

At the Heart of the Matter

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

The Bully’s Heart

The Christian’s Heart

  • Seeks Power
  • Seeks to serve God
  • Wants Dominance
  • Wants to obey God
  • Plans wicked schemes
  • Plans acts of kindness
  • Acts out in rage
  • Acts out in love
  • Enjoys inflicting pain on others
  • Enjoys helping others
  • Hates love and justice
  • Hates injustice
  • Loves hatred and injustice
  • Loves justice
  • Relies on others to back him up
  • Needs no one but God ultimately
  • Is motivated by self-dominance
  • Is motivated to encourage and lift others up

Conclusion

The main thing is that at the heart of the matter bullies only focus on their own well-being at the cost of others.  This sounds a lot like Satan to me.  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) say to you, ‘love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in Heaven.  For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.’” (Matthew 5:44-45)  Friends 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.  I know from personal experience what it is like to be bullied and it is no fun.  But, my heart and soul belong to God, and this is why I am who I am today.  If our sons and daughters understand that God is with them in the very hard times [4], it won’t necessarily take the pain of the moment away, but it will encourage them to stay strong and fight the good fight!  May God continue to bless you as you live a life worthy of the calling!

Some reading to encourage you: 6 Ways to Praise God During Hard Times [5]

Resources – “Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”. [1](Article Source: ezinearticles.com/4691738. [2] Article Source: jaredstory.com/brandon.html

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