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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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Of Bullying



Jesus answered, "The most important is, 'Hear O Isreal: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'  The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'  There is no other commandment greater than these."

Mark 12:29-31 (ESV)(emphasis added)


Bullying, obviously, is the act of one or more persons asserting their perceived dominance over another person or group of people.  It has gone on throughout time and has been instrumental in making the world what it is today.  Various forms have been employed from the schoolyard to the battlefield.  The most common motivations for it are envy, greed, and power.  Of course the question is, what would the world look like if bullying was not part of the fabric of humanity?  Some have asserted that bullying is a part of life and that it is one of the many things that ultimately define us as human beings.  But should we accept it as that?


I have certainly experienced my share of bullying throughout grade school and into high school.  I may have received worse than some, but not as bad as others.  This is evident in some of the stories heard recently, such as the girl who ended up committing suicide because of some unrelenting cyber-bullying perpetrated by her classmates.  Was that necessary?


A more severe example to be considered is war, and the atrocities that go with it.  The reasons for war can be attributed to the same reasons as bullying: a desire to obtain land owned by someone else, to assert one country’s power over another, or to wipe out another race or civilization.  But is it necessary?


To answer this we must look at the most perfect example of humanity known.  That being Jesus Christ.  He never used bullying, coercion, extortion, or anything of the sort to achieve His purpose, and yet He was the object of bullying by the Jewish authorities because He did not fulfill their preconceived idea of what their Messiah should be.  He was also the subject of bullying by King Herod and other Roman leaders because they perceived Him to be a threat to their authority.  They, of course, had no idea of His true purpose.  But here we come to the purpose of this post.  Though bullying is a cruel and destructive behavior, it is further proof that God can use any situation in order to bring about a greater good.  In this case He used what He knew man would do to His Son in order to bring about salvation for mankind.


But again, is bullying necessary?  God, as shown in the wonderful example expressed in His word, is able to bring glory out of suffering.  But when it comes to how we relate to our fellow man I assert that bullying is not necessary.  If we were to truly follow the tenets conveyed in The Bible there would be no bullying as it would be prevented by proper behavior brought about by proper discipline.

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