One of the most significant and pressing issue causing bullying is the fight for empowerment. What does that look like on a daily basis? For many, bullying is one of the more visible forms of power getting wrestled away.
Bullying is an act of anger, ego, and authority over another person’s life and it happens in schools, offices, and in the home, as many in the Fort Lauderdale area can attest. According to dosomething.org, more than 3.2 million students are bullied every year. About 17% of these students report bullying incidents, but only 1 in 4 of the faculty do anything about it. Some adults in the schools see it as part of a school ritual, so to speak, and either throw their hands in the air or walk away from a potentially explosive situation.
It’s not just in schools, though. In a similar study done by Workplace Bullying Institute, bullying in the office is not illegal in all 50 states and as many as 17% have quit their jobs because of this kind of oppression, with 35% claiming to have experienced bullying at work. At home, bullying can come in the form of older sibling over younger sibling or one spouse having all control over the other.
The Problems with Bullying
There are so many things wrong with this kind of attitude, but let Mount Bethel human services put it to you simply:
• It can be physically painfully
• It will be emotionally distressing
• It will lead to depression and anxiety
How to Handle the Sting of Bullying
Being bullied hurts. It’s not just words, but the impact on one’s self-esteem, and if it happens regularly, the lowered self-esteem can turn into an unhealthy idea of one’s worth. Even more painful is the fact that memories of being bullied are difficult to forget. Just think back – do you remember a bully picking on you growing up?
It’s all about fear, and there is only one you can go to for an ultimate solution to fear: God Almighty. You reach through prayers, of course. However, in Mount Bethel, we teach you that you can also do the following after praying. Apply God’s scripture in your life, and watch the impact of bullying diminish.
1. Learn to talk assertively. You have the power of God behind you. Do not be afraid to speak up and speak strong. “For God did not give us a spirit if timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
2. Ephesians 4 31-32 says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each, just as in Christ, God forgave you.”
You should not allow anger to fester inside and you should ask for strength to forgive the bullies. However, as much as possible, stay away from them. Accept that you will not get along with some people in this world and step away from their path. Finally, choose to be confident, practice love of others and respect for the dignity of others. And understand that bullying, contrary to what others may say, is never and will never be a “rite of passage”, so if someone tells you to “suck it up,” know there are peaceful and loving ways to grow up and leave bullying behind.
Need the support of a church community? We’d love to have you. You can join us for church worship in South Florida if you happen to be in the area. Everyone is welcome at Mount Bethel!