October is “National Bullying Prevention Month” and I encourage you to have conversations with your family about bullying and how bullying impacts people of all ages. In life, we all run into people who let us down and disappoint us. Sometimes people don’t say or do the right thing. Perhaps people have bullied you or treated you unkindly. What do you do in situations like these when people aren’t treating you with the respect and care you feel you deserve?
Christ reminds us in Matthew 5:44 to “Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” That kind of sounds like an impossible task and it goes against what most of us want to do. We want to get even when someone treats us wrongly. But the Bible tells us to love our enemies. How can we do that? It is really hard to love someone who isn’t doing nice things to you, or saying nice things about you. The good news is this: “For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” (Romans 5:5) This verse shows us that God fills our hearts with His love. This is good news. That means that we don’t have to love our enemies on our own. God will give us the love to love our enemies with. God doesn’t ask us to do something that He doesn’t give us the power to do.
Loving your enemies can be hard, but God gives us the love to do it. So, no matter what a mean person has done to you, and no matter how bad someone might have hurt you, you still have the responsibility to respond back to them in love. The good news is that God will help you by giving you the love to do it with. It’s just up to you to believe it and tap into that love that is already inside of you. Loving mean people can be hard, but with God’s help you can do it! In the Student Ministry, we remind our students that they are enough, and that they are loved. You can find resources about bullying and how to prevent it at www.stompoutbullying.org.