Sunday, February 2, 2014

Bullying's Antidote

Bullying has taken on new dimensions through Social Media. Some of the results have been deadly especially to the young and vulnerable. Reports indicate that this attitude has increased substantially in recent years. At the moment Governments are establishing commissions and committees to see why it is increasing and what can be done.

However in the context of global conflicts and the loss of a moral compass about what is right and what is wrong, should we be surprised? With young and old captured by the electronic world of violent games why be surprised by similar behaviour. When children are spectators to their mother being assaulted by her husband what lessons are being taught? Even those who have a religious tendency don’t seem immune from perpetrating acts of violence, deceit and oppression.

In Australia the Islamists appear on the news insisting their religion is one of peace. With the backdrop of Syria and a host of other countries such words are a sad and unfunny joke. Some like the Buddhists try and sidestep violence by renouncing desire. The problem is passion and pain are on the ‘doorstep’ when they come out of yoga or meditation. Christians cannot claim any moral high ground. Church history can be a record of Denominational blood letting. Is there any hope for our world of violence?

In essence the problem is personal. When there isn’t any inner peace there will always be relational turmoil. In the bible book of James is the following quote. ‘Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts.’ (James 4:1–2) Multiply this by what ever number add into the mix national vested interests and racial divides and we soon enter various ‘war zones.’

There isn’t any doubt individuals and nations want peace. However they want it their way. The Lord has given Governments authority to rule according to law. Unfortunately the human heart is devious and seeks to circumvent or overthrow such well intentioned laws. The bible says there will be peace talks and calls for peace, but sudden destruction always crashes the ‘peace party.’ Because the human heart is so devious and corrupt before peace can reign the heart must experience a great big makeover. How can this take place. In reality there are two options. One is highlighted by Islam, especially by the extreme expressions of Islam such as Hezbollah. Imposing Sharia law, restricting the rights of women and adhering to the teachings of Imans from the Koran is their solution. All right if you are a male without any emotional capacity for the well being and education of your wife and daughters.

The other option is promoted by the Christian Faith. It seeks to work from within the mind and heart of a person. The teachings of Jesus Christ are designed to dominate the human nature with His love, grace and mercy. Jesus is the Prince of Peace and offers this quality of life to His disciples. Notice, Jesus is not a pacifist! His peace comes at the point of the sword, not to the body but to the heart. His sword is actually the cut and thrust of His teaching which aims to cut away ungodliness and replace it with righteousness. It is when a person is at peace with God through yielding to His Son, Jesus, that the person is able to control his or her tendencies for bullying and abuse.

The bible is God's directory to peace.

For inner peace to penetrate a believer’s realm of influence the Lord has supplied His Holy Spirit and the holy scriptures. Neglect these and peace is squashed by selfish obsessions. Walk in step with Christ’s gifts and you will bless others with peace. There is much, much more on this subject from Christ’s perspective. Secure a bible and a concordance and go on a journey of discovering the peace which passes all our understanding.

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