Much of what we believe about bullying isn’t true. An estimated twenty million oppressed children need our help today. A critical mission field awaiting Christians is to combat bullying and proclaim liberty to wounded children.
To counter bullying, we must first understand some common misconceptions:
Children who are bullied do not become stronger adults. Bullies cannot be stopped merely with more compassion and understanding. In fact, bullying stems from the same roots as racism, sexual harassment, and even genocide, and it requires people to combat it in similar ways that they combat other forms of oppression and injustice. We often think of combating injustice overseas, but we can combat a very real and dangerous injustice in our own neighborhoods. After more than a decade of working with tens of thousands of students, teachers, parents, and pastors, Coughlin knows that bullying represents the worst in human nature, but combating it promotes the best. Kindness and awareness—two buzzwords in today’s anti-bullying movement—will not end bullying on their own. They must be activated by courage, transforming bystanders into righteous, loving protectors of targets. When we join this mission of love and justice, we will become peacemakers who are blessed and called children of God (Matt. 5:9).
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