No matter what your age, you’re aware and might have experienced the fact that throughout your life, you will run into gossipers, bullies, and the like. Most likely, you’ve also been one of the gossipers, maybe one of the bullies. Sometimes we don’t intend to hurt others with our words (and sometimes we fully intend to!), but it’s more than what we ourselves do. It’s great if you do your best not to gossip or make fun of others, but what do you do when you see others gossiping or bullying?
We like to tell ourselves we would do the noble thing and stand up for that person, but sometimes we just sit back and watch.
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Proverbs 12:18)
The verse gets right to the point. You may not think much of it at the time, but “rash words are like sword thrusts”, and they can leave you hurting for a lot longer. A really spiteful comment can leave someone hurting years later.
So what do you do if you see someone else being verbally bullied? The answer isn’t “it’s not my problem”, because we as Christians have a responsibility to show God’s love to others, and sitting back and watching doesn’t fall into that category. You might as well be bullying the person yourself.
What about gossiping? What they don’t know can’t hurt them, right? Wrong. Friendships are based on trust. If you told your friend something you trusted her with and didn’t want anybody else to know, and she went and told everyone she knows, how would you feel? Pretty rotten, I bet. “Do to others what you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31). If you’re okay with taking part in spreading rumors, you can expect people to feel the same way about spreading rumors about you.
Mark 12:31–Love your neighbor as yourself. Same idea. You don’t like being bullied? You don’t like people talking behind your back? Don’t do it to others. Just as important: Don’t stand for other people doing that. If your friends are gossiping, don’t just listen. Tell them that you think it’s wrong. If they don’t listen to you, leave. Because if you stay there and listen to the gossip, you might as well take part.
See someone being bullied? If you’re able, step in! Even if it means standing up for the “weird kid” or whatever, you need to show a Christ-like example. And years later, no one will remember or care if you just stayed back and watched. But if you stood up for that person, they will certainly remember you for a long time. You cared about them; you were different. Even if people make fun of you for standing up for the little guy, you are showing that you’re different. They’ll remember that later on. But what will happen if you stand back and watch?
Nothing. I can promise you that. So stand tall. Love others. Let the light that is in you shine in everything that you do.
Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. (John 13:35)
- The Importance of Friendship
- Rapture and Tribulation
- A Brotherly Love
- The Importance of Prayer
- Decisions: Your Gut Might Be Wrong
Also see: The Daily Post: Cringe-Worthy