Sometimes we find ourselves in the middle of ugly. No one walks this earth without getting mud on their feet…sometimes!
Sometimes…we fold and give up. Other times…we grab hold of anger and feast!
In this world it often feels like all we do is dodge darts. It’s easy to believe that the one throwing the darts is to blame, however, scripture tells us differently.
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12.
And yet, when the sharp end of a dart hits its mark it hurts. The intensity of the pain seems to deepen when the one throwing the darts is a friend, and, how, a mother’s heart breaks when her child is the one being stuck.
But scripture is clear we can’t get tangled up in anger or bitterness. We must view conflict through the lens of God’s Word! And I’m not even going to pretend it’s easy…because it is not! Conflict is plain and simply unpleasant…or a least it is for me. I prefer to avoid conflict as if it were the plague!
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Matthew 18:15-17.
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15.
…‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31.
God’s Word makes it clear, we are to go to the one who offends and try and make amends, and we must forgive them. There’s no wiggle room for anything else.
But when ugly (conflict) lands on our doorstep our flesh has a way of seeing things differently. We see the face of the one throwing darts, we begin to see their flaws, and we forget to remember it’s not a battle of flesh and blood.
I’m in a season of ugly. My girls have both experienced the sting of a friend being unkind…friends they’ve know for years…friends they’ve loved and trusted. A mother sees “red” when her child is hurting. It’s difficult for a mother to remember this is not a battle of flesh and blood when one can put faces on the ones throwing darts. It’s not an easy row to hoe…guiding your children in the mist of a difficult season paved with pain.
Wounds inflicted by bullies can have lasting effects. Children may have a difficult time moving forward, they may become fearful and lose their confidence, and they may feel helpless to stop the abuse. Sometimes the scars recieved from bullies can last a lifetime.
I, confess, I haven’t done all that the Lord ask of me. I’ve feasted on anger, I’ve wanted to give up, and I haven’t always wanted to act Christlike in this situation.
However, after wrestling with my flesh on this issue I’m trying to turn my will over to the Lord. I’m praying for God’s strength…because it is impossible to walk through this season without it. I’m praying God’s will been done. And, no, this season is not over…my girls and I are still walking through it. This season has grown long…and I’m beginning to grow weary, but I know that in the end God will give me and my girls the strength to see this thing through.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Bullying is not an issue that we should shy away from…it needs to be address! We can’t just wish it away or pretend it isn’t happening…because it is. A few months ago I read about a twelve year old who ended his life because he was being bullied. This should not be happening! Someone should not be abused to the point that they feel the only escape is to take their own life.
Bullying happens over and over…generation after generation and I’m not sure any of us have a clear picture of how to handle bullying. Therefore, I’ve decided to write further on this topic…and no I don’t have the answers, but I’m hoping if we put our heads together, perhaps, we can discover some ways to put a stop to bullying. It is my hope that you would share any thoughts, feelings, or feedback on bullying that you may have. I welcome all ideas…suggestions…concerns…just whatever you feel might help to put a stop to bullying or help someone who is being bullied…even personal stories.