Dear brother/sister in Christ,
I can truly say that I don’t know what you must be going through right now. I have seen how they treat you and I hear the things that they say about you. I see the Snapchat and Instagram postings that say all those terrible things about you. It all makes me very angry and very sad at the same time. I can’t understand why they do these things to you and I can’t understand how it must make you feel. After spending much time in prayer seeking wisdom from God, I feel that I must help you. I hope that through this letter I can help in two ways. First, I want to help you deal with this within your mind and your soul. Second, I want to help you take steps to bring this to an end. Both of these things will involve trust, courage, and a deep love for the brother and sister in Christ.
First, remember that you have done nothing wrong to bring this on and it is not your fault. We have to see that in all of our lives we are locked in a spiritual battle with the forces of evil and their leader, Satan himself. Satan attacks each of us in different ways and these ways are often the points of weakness that are part of who we are and how we live our lives. He will tempt those who are strong to use their strength in evil ways. Those who are quiet and meek will become prey for those who would wish to raise themselves up by bringing others down. What you are facing right now is a spiritual attack. The devil not only wants you to feel bad about yourself and despair about your situation, he also wants you to blame God for this and hate him and your Christian brother or sister as well. You can see this happening, can’t you?
Your life has become miserable because of the actions of those who are trying to build themselves up by bringing you down. Everyone seems to walk away from you and leave you alone in your misery. They don’t want to associate with you. They don’t invite you, but they show you what you are missing. They don’t return your texts, and they cut you off from their social media. You know that they are talking about you and you know that nothing good is said. That’s how they are. I think deep down you know it, but don’t forget that you are not alone in this. It may appear so at times. Satan does not want you to experience God’s love or for you to experience his love through the love of a brother or sister. But even in the worst of times you are not alone. God is with you. He has promised never to leave you or forsake you. You must never forget who you are and who you belong to. You must never forget the price that was paid for you to become his, and that he has a plan for you, including what you are going through right now. You are a child of God whose life has been purchased by the shed blood of Jesus Christ who knows your every need and has a plan for your life. God loves you. God is faithful to his children and his grace will be sufficient to face every trial that he puts in our path. You have to trust him in all things, especially in these difficult times. He understands what you are going through. Hebrews 4:15 reminds us of this, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” There is a beautiful hymn that puts this thought to music:
No one understands like Jesus
No one understands like Jesus, Every woe He sees and feels
Tenderly He whispers comfort, and the broken hearted heals.
Chorus: No one understands like Jesus, when the days are dark and grim
No one is so near, so dear as Jesus, cast your every care on Him.
No one understands like Jesus, when the foes of life assail
You should never be discouraged, Jesus cares and will not fail.
At times you might feel like the psalmist in Psalm 42 and ask the same question that he asks in verse 5, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me?” But have open ears to the response to that thought in verse 8, “Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.” Psalter #115 stanzas 3 and 4 express this so well.
“Thou wilt command thy servant’s consolation, thy loving kindness yet shall cheer my day, and in the night Thy song shall be my comfort; God of my life to Thee I still will pray.
Why, O my soul, art thou cast down within me, why art thou troubled and oppressed with grief? Hope thou in God, the God of thy salvation, hope, and thy God will surely send relief.”
Never feel hopeless about your situation. Remember God’s promises.
Those who bully you are also a part of this spiritual battle. They have been enlisted to serve with the forces of evil which are trying to ruin your spiritual life. There are two ways that you could respond to this situation. The easiest and most logical way is to hate them, seek revenge, and wish evil upon them. Even though there may not be anything that you could do, you wish the very worst upon them and you feel good when they get into trouble. Take to heart the words of Romans 12:17, “Recompense no man evil for evil” and in verse 19, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay saith the Lord.” Do not retaliate. Do not think of how you could get back at them. Do not speak evil of them to others. “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (v. 21).
The other way to respond would be the biblical way. How do you overcome this evil with good? You must go against your natural inclination to hate, and instead pray for them. Matthew 5:44 instructs us about this: “But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Those who bully are not your real enemy in this battle. The real enemy is Satan and his goal is to have you turn your eyes away from and stop looking for the love of God in your life. Satan is using the bullies in your life to bring this about. But we know that God can reach into the lives of evil hearts to change them. They need your help! They need God’s help. They are sick and their minds are not working correctly. They often are very insecure themselves, and do these things to gain acceptance in their own circles. They need to grow in their faith and develop in their understanding of God’s love. If you do not pray for them and show your love for them in the proper way, they will not see the love of Christ in you. This is why we are told to pray for those who persecute us. Keeping them in your prayers will help you to preserve a proper attitude in your soul and allow you to continue to show that love.
The other main purpose in writing this letter is to encourage you to be active and take steps to make this activity stop. We need to get those who bully to recognize that what they are doing is wrong and to stop doing it. The sooner they are confronted with this sin the less likely others will be bullied as you have been. There may be others suffering right now in the same way that you are by this same person and if he is not held accountable he will hurt others in the future. You need to tell someone, anyone in authority that you can talk to. Tell your parent, a teacher, counselor, or principal at school, your minister, or an adult that you work with and trust. There are ways that this can be done privately at school so that no one knows. This is something that you are not going to be able to do on your own, and it is going to take courage to work through this process. But it must be done. There is help available and you do not have to be afraid to get it. There is a great awareness today of this problem and people are prepared to help you. If you mention it to someone and they do not help you or take you seriously, go to someone else. Take a friend with you if you don’t want to go alone. Do not ignore it. Do not isolate yourself. It will not go away. You may think that this is a coward’s way out or that you will end up paying the price for this by having more and worse bullying done. In truth this is the bravest, most courageous thing that you could do. This is the only way to get the bullying to stop for you and to protect others from this in the future. It is also the only way for the bully to be forced to acknowledge that what he is doing is wrong and begin to change. This must be seen as an act of love on your part for the one that is hurting you.
This is not going to be easy to do. I am praying for you every day that God gives you comfort in your affliction and the strength to persevere and grow stronger in your faith through this trial. Remember the text from Psalm 42, especially that part about the song? “And in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.” I hope that you fill your heart with that song and with prayer. I remember a beautiful song sung by the Covenant Choir. Go to the You Tube Channel and listen to it. Let these words comfort you and remind you of that unfailing and everlasting love of God for you.
“Child of God” by Layton DeVries
“O child, child of God, rest assured, the Lord is with you.
When you wake up in the morning and the sun is shining down, the Lord watches over every step you take.
When the world has knocked you down and you don’t know which way to turn, rest assured, the Lord is with you.
When your friends have turned against you and you feel all alone, the Lord watches over every move you make.
He will always be right there to protect and love his child, rest assured that Lord is with you.
When darkness drifts around you, and your eyes close in sleep, you have no need to fear. Rest assured, the Lord is with you.”
(Search YouTube: CovenantChoirs “Child of God”
I send this with my love.
Your brother in Christ,
*Rick Noorman is the administrator of Covenant Christian High School in Grand Rapids, MI