Sticks And Stones

April 15, 2013
by Rosemary Hagedorn

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me" is an English-language children's rhyme that was created in Britain before 1872. It was meant to persuade the child victim to ignore the name-calling, to refrain from physical retaliation, and to remain calm and good-natured.

Amanda Todd, 15, of Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada, killed herself on Wednesday, October 10, 2012, after posting a heartbreaking video on YouTube that told her story of being bullied by her classmates.

Cyber-bullying has become the latest outrage of words that are being used to lash out, broadcast on the Internet, against people who are unable to defend themselves. Cyber-bullying includes mean text messages or e-mails, rumours sent by e-mail or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles. This use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person has become an epidemic.

Bullies and meanies have always been around, but technology has given them a whole new platform for their actions. As adults, we are becoming aware and seeing that the "sticks and stones" saying no longer holds true. We are seeing that both real-world and online name-calling can have serious emotional consequences for our kids and teens.

Mark 12:29-31 – Jesus answered, "The foremost is, 'Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; 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." (NASB)

Many schools, workplaces, and organizations have taken a stand against bullying. Although the movement has been primarily North American-based, with television ads about standing up against bullying, it's quickly spreading across the globe and is expected to continue gaining momentum.

Today, if we see someone being bullied, let us take a stand and intervene against this ever-increasing epidemic of bullying, whether it be via the Internet, at school, or in our workplaces.

Isaiah 1:17 – Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. (NIV 2011)

Prayer: God of justice and truth, grant us the strength and wisdom to stand up against the injustice that is so prevalent in our society today. We thank You for government, organizations, and individuals who have already started this process to stop bullying. Amen.

About the author:

Rosemary Hagedorn <rosyhagedorn@gmail.com>
Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good reminder Rosemary.


    Well said, Rosy. Blessings.


    Thanks for this — surely needed to be addressed!!


    Dear Rosy: I personally know a lady whose daughter has anexoria because of being bullied.


    Very well done. This is such a growing problem to address and in just a few words you have helped bring it to the attention of many. God bless you Rosemary.


    Rosemary, thank you for sharing with us today. This is very true what your talking about and I always try to intervene with God’s help in such matters also.


    Rosemary,
    I was stunned when I opened your devotional today. God is certainly sending the message out about the power of words and the importance of walking in love. Your devotional hit the mark in every way.
    Blessings.


    Hello
    This is a very good message. I have also noticed that some commercials on t.v. are also a form of bullying. I think we could clean up several different areas that leave a negative thought. We can pray and use the great positive words we know are True to help people know the truth of who they really are in the eyes of God. Have a great day and thank you for all your input.


    Hi Rosemary,
    Thanks for a word in good season. Thie metter of bullying has to be resolved because it is really out of hand. “Be ye kind on to another, tender-hearted, forgiving on another…” seems to be forgotten…but God does not forget, neither does he forget those who do forget to be kind. Have a great day!
    Blessings.


    You need to be careful who you stop from bullying. Our granddaughter tried to defend a quiet girl who was being bullied by the school principal. Our granddaughter told the principal he was bullying the girl. Our granddaughter ended up suspended and some nasty things were said about her.
    We have no answers except students cannot complain to the teachers or principal if they are bullying the students, nor can the parents. You can only complain if a student is doing the bullying.


    Thank you Rosemary for your devotional today.
    My Dad told me that when he was a boy in the 1930’s bullying was around even then. I remember in the 1970’s going to school and being bullied by someone a few grades older than me. My older brother took care of that bully for me! But nowadays the bullying seems to have gotten really really bad, even amongst girls. It’s sad that bullying has taken on power esp. on the Internet.
    Perhaps with enough awareness and lots of prayer bullying will one day stop.


    Well done Rosemary. Your choice of Mark 12: 29 – 31 is spot on. Two of the three remaining gospels also show Jesus answering the “loaded question” posed by a group of religious leaders in the same manner.
    As a father of three and, now, a grandfather, the concern for my own family grows with each reported instance of bullying, cyber-bullying, and the awful consequences associated with these mean and senseless acts. It is our responsibility as Christians not only to reach out in love and support to the victims of bullying, but also to the perpetrators and the adults who are responsible for the actions of their children. We must help them understand that while God and Jesus abhor their actions, that they themselves are loved. That may be the single best solution to this awful problem.
    Thank you for broaching this difficult subject and your attempt to move Christian men and women to positive action!


    Dear Rosy,
    watched the YouTube for myself and, sad to say, it is a classic example of how Evil can influence and get into the mind of children, and adults for that matter. I would pray against it but now it is too late to make any difference for Amanda.
    As you say, we can intervene and support where we can make a difference. However, I also consider interceding for, and overcoming in prayer, can cut the root of the problem at source to change lives and the ambiance of actual physical places such as schools, streets, towns where they may occur.
    Just a thought!
    Thanks for bringing it to my attention, even if that has deeply saddened me for a time, for this child’s life now gone. Sadly, this is not first young adult I have seen self-destruct.
    Let us pray for those who we know where we can make a difference, even at a distance, in Jesus’ name.
    Blessings
    (England)

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