July 19, 2023 –
A bully seeks to intimate, subjugate, and torment another person, usually perceived as vulnerable. The bully’s actions are noticeable, but it’s difficult to understand how the victim responds to them. The response can range from sloughing off the intimidation to fear that can cause self-harm, even suicide.
Looking back, many people recall the mocking, bullying, and taunting of their peers. Improving our self-worth can stop negative comments and actions toward our peers.
In Biblical times, a prejudiced society played the role of bully, and lepers were the victim. People saw lepers as unclean and thus excluded them.
Matthew’s gospel shares the story of a man who was excluded (bullied) from society and had no self-esteem. But the touch of Jesus changed everything. He became inclusive and confident.
“When He came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him. Right away, a man with a serious skin disease came up and knelt before Him, saying, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’ Reaching out His hand, He touched him, saying, “l am willing; be made clean.” Immediately his disease was healed. Then, Jesus told him, “See that you don’t tell anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses prescribed, as a testimony to them.” (Matthew 8:1-4 HCSB)
If you want to introduce people to Jesus, don’t be afraid to reach out and engage them with the touch of the Gospel. “People who love themselves don’t hurt other people. The more we hate ourselves, the more we want others to suffer.” – Anon.