Love the Bully Day 34

gettingreadyforthecross.jpg“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – Matthew 5:43–48

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN bullied? I was bullied in junior high school. For several days, may-be a week (it seemed like years), this boy would give me a daily kick—a hard kick to the seat of the pants. I told him to stop it several times. He did not. I dreaded going to the bus stop before school and coming home at the end of the day.

Then one day, on the way home from school, the bully smarted off to the biggest kid on the bus. The big kid got off at our bus stop, which was the one before his regular stop. After the fight was over, there was my bully on the ground—with his glasses beside my feet. I picked them up and gave them to him, and he snatched them out of my hand as he walked away sobbing. He never bothered me again.

Was it difficult to extend a helping hand to the fellow who had tormented me? Of course. But our relationship was transformed in that moment.

Father, give the courage to love those who take advantage of me and try to intimidate me. Yes, help me show kindness to the bullies in my life, because I know they need love as much as I do.

-Jim Kane is the pastor of First Church of God in Kendallville, Indiana.

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