We've all probably been there at one point or another in our lives. One day you're minding your own business and some guy or gal steps up to you and intentionally bumps you or perhaps forces you to do something you didn't want to do. Another bully!
Believe it or not, the chances are pretty good that you might encounter a bully at every stage of your life. It may be in school at an early age. It could be during your teenage years. It may be in a work environment with an overbearing co-worker. There is even the possibility of encountering bullies in retirement. The fact is, bullies come in all ages, ethnicities and genders.
The start of the new school year is usually a time of awkwardness, acclimation, pairing off, exclusion and inclusion. When someone has a history of being a bully, it's, unfortunately, also a time to assert themselves. This may manifest in violence toward others, extortion, mockery and belittling. Obviously, these traits could have lifelong effects on both the victim as well as the perpetrator.
One thing is common among all bullies; part of their identity is found in overpowering and domineering others. This may be the result of having seen it modeled by a parent or guardian or even school teacher. The chances are pretty good that someone early on in their life demonstrated to them some dysfunction, including: 1) Think more about you and what you want, and, 2) The way to get something you want is to force someone against their will and kindness to give it to you.
At Lighthouse, in addition to providing them a quality education from teachers who understand that children learn differently, we believe one of our primary goals is to teach our students about the love of Jesus. We know that when someone begins a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, their life takes on a new direction. We attempt to steer our students toward the path of finding their identity from God's perspective.
The truth is, the Lord wants you to be one full of His grace, mercy, kindness and righteousness. Being a bully has no place in the life of a follower of Jesus.
If you are a parent reading this, stop for a few minutes of self-evaluation. Ask yourself if you have bullied or are presently bullying others. If so, REPENT!! Ask the Lord to forgive you and then possibly approach the person or persons you have (are) offended and ask them to forgive you. Seek out someone you respect and admire that could be a sounding board for you and let them know what you're struggling with. Then ask them to mentor you.
A final thing. Keep your eyes opened for others who may have tendencies to bully others. Confront and challenge people in a loving way. Remember if you were being challenged, how you would want someone with compassion to do it.
Together, we can help identify and end bullying in our areas of influence. Here's to a "bully-free" year at Lighthouse Christian School!