The Jesus Way

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Is there any one of us that has never been bullied at some time? I doubt it. Has there ever been a time when you were the bully? Probably.

Can any among us say that he (or she) has never been called a derogatory name? I doubt it. Have you ever called someone a derogatory name? Probably.

Is there anyone who can say that he (or she) has never been slighted because of the color of his skin? I doubt it. Have you ever slighted someone because of the color of their skin? Probably.
We could go on and on with this, but let me get to the point. Are bullying, name calling and prejudice ever right? We all know the answer is “No.” In fact, we probably knew the right answer before we were either victims or perpetrators. Christians surely know what the Bible has to say about these matters (cf. Matthew 7:12; 22:39; James 2:9).

The big question is: “How do we deal with these things when they happen?” Let’s start with ourselves first as perpetrators. If we are the bullier, the name caller or the one practicing prejudice then we, as much as possible, need to make it right with our victim(s) and then we quite simply stop our wrongful behavior. Jesus was never guilty of such things and if we are followers of His, then they will not be a part of our lives either (Luke 9:23).

The second part of the answer is just as challenging as the first. How are we to conduct ourselves when victimized by these things? I’m sure we could devise a lot of options on our own- - but what is the right way?
Have you ever c

onsidered that Jesus was a victim of all these things? Just read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. He was the object of the most undeserved, cruel and demeaning actions that man has to offer! And how did He respond? Peter wrote, “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow His steps: ‘Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in his mouth,’ who, when reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:21-23).

Did you catch it? Jesus did not respond by returning evil for evil; but good for evil (cf. Romans 12:14ff). Further, He laid his abuse in the hands of the great Judge of all things.
Hence, that is the Jesus way. It is the right way. And it is the only way that is “acceptable to God” (1 Peter 2:20).