October is National Bullying Prevention month. Bullying has been around as long as humans have inhabited the world, yet it has been on the increase over the past decade. Some would say it's because it's been given more publicity - I say it's because we've lost our Christian world view of the world and has been replaced with a humanistic and evolutionary view of mankind, which has only allowed bullying to blossom.
Humanism, at it's core, places value in man. That's good - but where does our value come from? That is something humanism cannot answer. I was at a Bullying Prevention rally at school, and there was great focus on the emotional appeal. "You are special." It's true that we are special, but why are we special? Humanism says that man, at his core, is basically good and wants to do good and will do good. If this is so, then why is this evil of putting others down permeate our society? Humanism also says we need to find our answers in science. The study of science is of value - I myself am a science teacher - but not answers can be found in science. When we look at science, we come to evolution. What does evolution tell us about ourselves?
First of all, evolution tells us that we are accidents that just happened. This actually contradicts humanism, as how do I have any value if I am the cumulating result of random accidents that just happened to make humans? If I'm an accident of some random acts of chemicals that came together, then what makes me any more special than an amoeba or a Venus Fly Trap? Nothing. Evolution is about "survival of the fittest" - there's no place for anyone being special. He who is strong survives, while the rest die out. He who has the most stuff is worthy to survive, while if you don't, you die out. It shouldn't surprise us that bullying has become more of a problem as we are saturated with an evolutionary mind set that says some people have a right to live and thrive while others do not.
Christianity has the answer to why we are special. Why are we special? Because we were created in the image of God. Genesis 1:27 says "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." (NIV) Since God created us, it means that we are not an accident, which means we have a purpose in life. We may not always understand that purpose, but we can search and discover that purpose if we seek God. Why is it important that we are created in His image? It means that we have emotions, desire relationships, are creative, have a spiritual part and not just a physical being. God made both male and female to be special and have a purpose. This is a reality that we need to consistently share with our children, grandchildren, etc. It's a reality that many adults need to come to terms with, too.
Christianity also is very real about the condition of man's heart. The Bible says man was created good, but sin entered the world and corrupted the world. Genesis 6:5 says "The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time." When I look at the news, I see what God's Word says about man's heart matches up with more than I see what humanism matches up.
At school, I come across a lot of kids who go to church, and they will readily tell me that God made them. Here's the problem - they say the words, but they act as if they evolved. What do I mean by that? That means the kids act as if they are an accident, that they have no purpose in life. They go by survival of the fittest, which means if they don't have the newest technology or the better brand or aren't the smartest or the most talented, etc, then they have no worth, and therefore no purpose. If I have no purpose in life, then I try and escape by turning to drugs or alcohol, or live sexual immoral lives as we are nothing but "higher level of animal". I think kids get confused because at an early age we always say that everyone is "special" and that everyone is wonderful and great, but then as kids grow up they see the other reality of evil that we pretend doesn't exist. They don't know what to think anymore.
We as Christians have an answer to this problem, and that is that God created us, and so we have a purpose. There will always be someone who doesn't like us and will try to put us down. We also realize that people will try to put us down - that's the evil condition of man's heart. We need to be teaching people that their worth and purpose is not found in things, or in money, or position, or in what others think and say - it is found only in God, Who not only said what He created is 'good', but that we were worthy enough for Him to send His one and only Son to die on a cross for our sins. There wasn't anything that we did to deserve that.
Time in and time out, we need to tell our kids that God created them and gave them a purpose. It needs to permeate their lives, so when a bully does come along, our children can stand firm on the rock that God did create them and they do have purpose. The words and actions of the bully will sting, but it will not become a dagger of death to our kids because they will find hope and love in their Creator. Because of the evil condition of the heart, it should drive us to draw even more closer to Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to save us from our sins, restore our corrupted heart and change the desires of our heart so they are not selfish, but become more like those of Christ. We then start to pray for those who bully others, so that they can find their true purpose in Christ - not find purpose in tearing someone else down. We pray and teach our children how to pray that God will work in the lives of the bully so they will sense their need for a Savior and that they will find Him and let Him change their life. Let this National Bullying Prevention Month become a time we share the hope that we have in Christ!
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