One can judge the character of a person by how they treat the helpless, weak, vulnerable and depressed. That is when one's true nature either shines or reveals its cracks.
We learn as we grow up to disguise our feelings in order to protect ourselves from those that are less than kind. Often I have seen children trying to make themselves into a shadow on the playground, or in activities where teams are formed. They are afraid of the taunts of those who find self worth in belittling those who cannot defend themselves. At times, these traits are from learned behavior that is generated from outside the school settings. In many cases these bullies find themselves the object of belittlement in their home environment or that of their own neighborhoods. Some call it the pecking order and that is only understood all the more by spending an hour looking at birds on a feeder.
So how does one counter the bully in the room? There is of course the physical avenue of restraint that I tried as a child in school, that is, to protect the fragile individual, but only with varied success. Then again, what does that prove, only that you are either stronger than the bully or faster and/or more agile, or on the other hand, less strong and you get yourself beat up as well. But there is another way, and that is to show kindness to the bully. It is totally unexpected and as scripture says, it puts burning goals on their head. Meaning that deep in their hearts they feel guilty for what they did. The bully is left to run from these feelings, or he makes a 180 degree turn choosing not to be like the person or people who treated him in that way. This might seem like a simple decision, and it is for some, but change in most cases comes hard. Habits are hard to change, along with those feelings that well up inside when you relive the brutality of your own past events perpetrated on you.
Jesus said that he is the way and the life. (John 14:6). He tells us here that his example will show us the way, but how do we do that since change is so very hard. Cory Ten Boom lost her father and sister to the Nazi's trying to help the fleeing Jews. Her father died in a prison cell and her sister died in the same concentration camp that Cory was in. In the end, God provided a miracle and Cory was accidentally released from the camp. After the war she preached of God's love and how we need to seek his love and forgiveness. This only became more than real for Cory when she faced one of her concentration guards sitting across from her while traveling. He confessed to Cory that he had accepted Christ and that God had changed him. After telling her of his conversion, he asked Cory to forgive him for being one of the men responsible for her sister's (Betsy) death. Right then Cory (later relates) that all she wanted to do at that moment was to kill that man for what he had done to Betsy. Then God's gentle voice spoke to Cory's heart and she knew that she must be obedient to his will and not that of her own. Cory responded out of obedience to God and said to the man, "I forgive you!" At that moment God took all the hate she had for him and turned it into his love for this individual. Her heart was changed in an instant. It was not only this man's forgiveness that needed answering, but Cory's anger and bitterness that needed to be let go of as well. Jesus said, " Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matt. 11:29-30)
Because Cory was obedient to God, he was able to release her from this burden in her heart that needed healing. What burdens are you carrying, do they need to be lifted from your heart and soul? Jesus is waiting to hear from you, he stands at the door and patiently knocks for you to open your heart to him. Revelation 3:20