Monica Lewinsky is a producer and spokesperson who was on the Today Show this week to promote a public service announcement about bullying. Lewinsky might be the most famous victim of bullying ever. She said that while she was producing the video, she met a woman who had a young relative who had been bullied. When the girl missed school, someone texted her, saying “When we saw you weren’t at school today, we thought you were dead, and were happy.”
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. A majority of students surveyed say they’ve been bullied, but victims often suffer in private, too ashamed to tell parents and teachers how they feel.
People bully because they feel powerless themselves or because someone has bullied them. Bullies are often jealous of the person they’re bullying; they lack empathy, are looking for attention, or a have a need to be in control. They often come from dysfunctional families. They have trouble regulating their emotions. A victim goes on to victimize others, and so the cycle goes on.
The most famous bully in the Bible may be the Philistine champion Goliath. Day after day, Goliath came out from the ranks of the Philistine army and taunted the Israelites, while the king and the whole Israelite army quaked in fear. Only one person wasn’t intimidated—a young shepherd boy named David.
If you google “bullying,” you’ll find all kinds of resources to help fight the problem. But the best resource is the Gospel, which affirms our ultimate worth in the eyes of the creator. The Gospel says that God loved us so much that he sent his son to stand up for us, so that nothing could ultimately separate us from his love.
On our own, we’re not strong enough to stand up to the bullies in our lives.
But there is one who was. And he still stands up for us.