Rather than teach us that if we are victims we must help other people change, Jesus puts the responsibility directly on us. Our nation has become a mass of helpless dependents who look to the government to solve all their problems. However, Jesus understood the government cannot solve social problems and the solution is to change ourselves; that is empowering for it puts the power in our hands, into our lives.
Fighting bullying by instituting laws against bullying cannot force people to like and respect one another. Jesus is in opposition to the legal approach and He makes this clear throughout the Sermon, contrasting what the law tells us with his own wise instructions.
Jesus does not criticize bullies but the hypocrites, and we are all hypocrites. He asked, "Why are you so concerned about a speck in someone else's eye, and don't bother with that log in your own eye? Hypocrite! Look to yourself first then you can help others."
Laws and advertising against bullying promote intolerance and even hatred of bullies. But this is what Jesus taught:
"In the Law we are told, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' Jesus said "But I say, love your enemies. Be kind to those who hate you and pray for your persecutors. That's behavior of God's family. Treat others the way you'd like them to treat you. If you love only those who love you, why's that so great? Scoundrels do that. If you're only friendly with your friends, what is so special about that?"
It is easy to love our friends. The real challenge is to love bullies/enemies and other unlikeable people, those who offend you.
Why are we victims of bullying? Because we get angry when people treat us poorly, regardless of whether we express our anger outwardly or try to keep it bottled up inside. What did Jesus say?
In the Mosaic Law we are told, 'Don't murder.' But Jesus taught if we so much as get angry at someone we are in danger of God's judgement. So, if you're praying, and remember someone has something against you, stop right then, go and settle it peacefully. Then, return and ask what you will.
Jesus clearly instructs us not to be angry even when when we feel victimized. In our anger we hate our abusers and want revenge against them. But when we get angry, it is we who are engaging in evil. Then our abusers feel justified in abusing us again. To be virtuous, we must stop being angry with our abusers and make peace with them.
Society insists we need anti-bullying laws so the fear of being sued or jailed will make bullies want to treat us well. What is Jesus’ opinion about lawsuits?
If you go to court to answer a complaint, settle out of court as soon as you can. If you don't, you may find the plaintiff has brought you before the judge, and the judge has sentenced you, and the jailer has put you behind bars. You may be sure that you won't get out until you've paid your debt to the last cent. In other words, if you have a problem with someone, deal with your opponent directly. They will like and respect you much more. You’ll save yourself a lot of money, time and misery. And you will be less likely to be left with an enemy.
Today we are taught to be assertive and not to let anyone get away with any negative behavior. If someone hits us, we must report them to the authorities. What does Jesus teach?
In the Law men were told, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But Jesus said "Don't resist. If someone hits you on one cheek, offer the other.
It takes courage to face the one who strikes you without retaliating, and to let him do it again. This makes a profound impact on the striker, who senses your
fearlessness. And the nice thing is that he probably won't strike you again.
Gandhi and Martin Luther King taught people to take this approach, with great success. Turning the other cheek is not for loosers but learners who learn and live by God's guidelines.
So read the Sermon on the Mount. It is Jesus’ gift. Whether you believe in Him or not, the wisdom passed down in his name is the solution we seek. After all, He isn’t called The Prince of Peace for nothing.