Features

October 26, 2013

The Rev. Rodney B. Weaver: ‘If you are a bully …’

In recent years the issue of bullying in our public school system has come to the forefront. Children seeking an education have been the recipients of cruel, brutal outbursts. Stronger intimidating students have taken advantage of their peers. The form of bullying is not always physical, but mental and/or emotional. The invention of cellphones and computers has seen bullying in the cyberspace arena as well.

Bullying is not a modern day experience. It has been in existence for centuries, even in biblical times. A biblical example of bullying is how Goliath used his imposing size and stature to intimidate or bully shepherd boy David.  

The word “bully” is not found in the Bible. Instead the word “brutish,” a synonym, is mentioned. The Hebrew or Greek words “brute or brutish” translated mean stupid, foolish and irrational as cattle. From this we can surmise that those who bully act as cattle or other beasts incapable of rational thinking. This type of behavior is found in our society in children and adults.  

Unfortunately the aftermath of bullying can lead to persons having to engage in Christian counseling and secular mental health treatment. Conversely, it has also led to the drastic aftermath of suicide. Where the bullying of children is involved it is the parent’s responsibility before God to protect their children. They are to move them from students that may be dangerous. This responsibility does not fully lie with parents. As a community, we are obligated to diffuse situations and environments where bullies thrive.  

Bullying breeds hostile environments for all. Bullying makes it difficult for students to learn in an educational environment. Bullying leads to family violence in domestic relationships. Bullying leads to nations seeking to destroy other nations (i.e., Hitler’s behavior leading to the Holocaust).

As Christians, how is one, especially a child, to respond? All of us are not mentally equipped to handle the taunts of bullying. Fighting a bully is not always the right course of action. Striking back may agitate the situation and not end the bullying. Sometimes the bullied react so adversely that they take on the persona of the bully. Is turning the other cheek the thing to do? Should one pray that the bully be spiritually connected and change their ways? What should one do?

One must understand the motive of the bully. One must also understand that although the bully appears to be operating from a stance of strength, in actuality he/she is exposing their  weakness(es). They are acting from their weakness instead of their strength. Their weakness has damaged their personality and caused them to be overly aggressive instead of being assertive. The bully has a character flaw that the person cannot or desires not to control.

As Christians we cannot always avoid difficult bullying people. We cannot change them. But with God’s guidance we can better understand them and interact in a positive way to cope with them.

David slayed Goliath. David killed the bully Goliath. We desire not to kill the bully, but to respond to the bully with understanding, patience and courage.  

Bullies test our witness to God. Our desire is to engage the bully in non-confrontational interactions and positive affirmations. Doing so will convict that person and reveal their hidden inner beauty. This is a challenging and daunting task. But this is the Godly response. Therefore, if you are a bully this should be our Christian response.    

Rodney Weaver is the pastor of Alexander Chapel United Methodist Church.

1
Text Only
Features
  • Le Miz 3 mlh.jpg Do you hear the people sing?

    Sometimes referred to as “the world’s most popular musical,” “Les Miserables,” an adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 1846 novel, has been performed around the globe in more than a dozen languages for nearly 30 years.

    July 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • Bryan Collins: God so loved

    In John 3:16, Jesus spoke of the Father’s love of the world, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

    July 11, 2014

  • The Rev. G. David Henderson: Those who help also serve Christ

    If the reader wrongly believes Christ can’t use you because you’re too timid to sing, pray, speak publicly, play musical instruments in worship services inside a church sanctuary, today’s devotional will greatly encourage you.

    July 4, 2014

  • New pastor for First Presbyterian

    The Rev. William McMullen “Will” Scott, currently of Indianapolis, Ind., has been called to serve as the pastor of Dalton’s First Presbyterian Church. Scott is only the 19th senior minister to be called by the congregation in the church’s 167-year history. His nomination was approved by the congregation Sunday, June 15, following a yearlong search.

    June 16, 2014

  • Bryan Collins: Men, step up

    On Sunday, our nation will celebrate Father’s Day. The observable differences in the way Father’s Day and Mother’s Day are celebrated could be attributed to several different factors.  Mother’s Day is typically a more sentimental occasion than Father’s Day because our moms are usually a little more sentimental. Moms are typically more nurturing and so we think of them differently than we think of our dads. It is too often the case that moms have to play the role of mother and father to the children.

    June 13, 2014

  • The Rev. G. David Henderson: The powerlessness in aloneness

    God knows the fragileness of every human he has created. The first time God graded something as “no good” within his new creations is when he created the first human, Adam: “It is not good for any man to abide alone” (Genesis 2:18). God then created Eve.

    June 6, 2014

  • DLT play features bluegrass gospel music, comedy

    It is October of 1945, the war is over, and the gospel-singing Sanders family is back together again.

    June 1, 2014

  • O.N. Jonas Memorial Foundation plans for future

    The yearly meeting of the O.N. Jonas Memorial Foundation was recently held and plans for the future were discussed. The foundation (administered by the Creative Arts Guild) began in 1968 with friends of the late Oscar N. Jonas uniting with business, civic and educational leaders to establish an organization that could perpetuate Oscar’s aspirations for the cultural enrichment of all children in northwest Georgia. The foundation sponsors visual, performing and literary arts in Dalton Public Schools, Whitfield County Schools and Murray County Schools, and also Crossroads, Mountainbrook and the Dalton Regional Youth Detention Center. All programs are free to students.

    June 1, 2014

  • Robin Richmond Mason: Sit down for a season but stand firmly on your roots

    Proverbs tells us that a woman can live in such a way that her children will rise up and call her blessed.

    May 10, 2014

  • The Rev. G. David Henderson: Christ-like power from devilish thorns

    Today’s devotional is to the readers who have asked God many times to rid Satan out of their life, but as of yet he hasn’t  removed him. The Apostle Paul also experienced such heartbreaking misery.

    May 2, 2014