Day 77 – Romans 12:14-21 – How should a Christian respond to bullying? persecution?
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Don’t be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the sight of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge, I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:14-21)
I read a touching novel, Unlocked, by Karen Kingsbury. It is about an autistic boy, Holden, who is unmercifully bullied at school. Holden prayed for all the students, including the ones who bullied him because the bullies couldn’t hear the music of the Creator who put goodness inside of each of us. “Some of the kids were kind on the inside but their outsides were all trapped up….So Holden prayed the kindness inside them would come all the way to the outside where people could see it and feel it.
Like Holden, we are to bless those who persecute us. We are not to take revenge on our enemies because God will repay our enemies for their actions against us. If we provide for our enemies’ needs in addition to blessing them, their punishment will be worse. Christians should stamp out evilness with goodness, empathize, be humble, and associate with those in low positions.