Thursday, March 25, 2010


The site linked above provides some startling information about cyber-bullying in our country among adolescents. Look at the following graph:

So one out of five students in this school district that was sampled claim to have been cyber-bullied in their lifetime. And the numbers of those who have been mistreated through technological means in the last month is really surprising too. I would never have guessed that the numbers would have been that high.

The news stories I hear, although still somewhat rare, about kids being set on fire and beaten within inches of their lives, because of conversations started digitally, are alarming. Technology has made it so easy to fire off rude statements, to start rumors super-fast, to stir anger and hatred up in a person, and to taunt or provoke. And it's non-stop now. There's not even a break when the student goes home any longer like there has been in previous generations. The pursuit can be relentless.

So let's be aware of this and how it might be affecting our young people. Let's defend our children against such cyber-bullying as best as we can. But let's also be sure that our children aren't doing the bullying too.

Above all, let's try to help our children learn that people's perceptions of them and statements about them ultimately do not matter. Even if their name is dragged through the mud or someone incessantly is calling them names, they need to know that they are loved by the Ruler of the Universe. And they need to be taught how to "pray for their enemies" as Jesus taught. They need to be challenged to love their enemies and forgive--just as God has done for us. These experiences can be God-awful and painful for kids to go through. We should not minimize the hurt they experience at all...But they can also be highly teachable moments for those who are followers of Christ.

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