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What should I do if I'm being bullied in school?

First, I want to start off by saying I am so sorry that you and your dignity have been so totally ignored by the people who bully you. I know it is hard, and there are no words that make the pain and hurt vanish. However, I hope you also know that your worth is not dependent on how others see you. No amount of bullying can take away the truth of who you are.

You are a precious creation, a beloved child of the God of the Universe. Even if no one on this earth can see it, you are Heavenly Royalty. I challenge you to spend some time meditating on Psalm 139 and tattoo those words on your heart. You ARE fearfully and wonderfully made—even if no one else sees it.

The Gospels are full of times where Jesus was mocked, ignored, beaten, and eventually killed. Jesus Christ, God of the Universe, was bullied because small-minded people couldn't comprehend the truth of Who He was. Does that sound familiar?

I cannot promise you that God will make them stop bullying you if you pray for that. He didn't stop them from bullying Jesus when He asked (Matthew 26:39; Matthew 27:45-50). Jesus even warns that we probably will be bullied at times. However, with that warning, He also promises that we will never be alone in our sufferings (John 16:33). Jesus became a man so He could sympathize with us in a way He couldn't have if He stayed in Heaven (Hebrews 4:14).

When they bully you, Jesus is also being picked on, pushed around, and demeaned. When Stephen was being stoned, he didn’t see the people throwing stones at him, he saw Jesus standing at the Throne of Heaven with His arms outstretched (Acts 7). Jesus offers you the same shelter. He joins us in our sufferings.

So, what do you do if the people at your school don’t respect you?

Pray that their hearts will be changed. Prayer is infinitely powerful and will make a difference—even if you can’t see it immediately. But don’t just pray that their hearts will be changed. Pray that God will bless and forgive them. Jesus tells us to pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44), and He shows us how to do this on the cross when He cries out “Have mercy on them, for they do not know what they do" (Luke 23:34).

To put it bluntly, the bullies at your school are inexperienced teenagers doing stupid things. They don’t truly know what they are doing—the way they are crushing a spirit, or the ramifications it has for them spiritually. If they truly did, they wouldn’t do it. So, pray for them. You will find that this also changes you. It changes you from a victim who has no power to a victim who has united with Christ.

Put on your armor. Satan wants to beat you down and make you think you are worthless. But God wants you to remember that you are pricelessly precious. You are precious enough to die for and to rise from the dead for. God has never made someone like you, and He will never make another person like you again either. Clothe yourself in the garments of Christ and wield the sword of truth.

You cannot make them see who you are, but if you can remind yourself of who you are, they cannot break you. They can beat you, bruise you, and mock you. But God wants to hold your core strong.

I wish I could tell you that enough mind-over-matter will stop the anxiety and tears that these bullies are causing, but that's only partly true. You won't always be able to control it—and that's OK! They put scars on your heart, and you now have to let them heal.

Be gentle with yourself. Take your scars to Jesus and let Him help you heal them. Give Him your tears. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Psalm 56:8, "You have put my tears into your bottle, are they not written in your book?" Every tear we cry, every time we are beaten down and bullied or persecuted, God writes the tears down and He collects them, holding them close to His heart.

It’s OK to not be strong all the time. It’s OK to say, “This sucks.” It’s OK to be hurt. There is nothing wrong with tears. Healing takes time, and high school is really, really, really hard. But please, remember WHO YOU ARE. And know that what bullies do is not OK.

Seek help. You may need to get some help from someone—a teacher, a counselor, or some other trusted adult. But if you do not have someone like that, please know that God is ALWAYS with you. And He will never, ever let you suffer alone. He may let this be a way for you to understand Him and His Love. But after every Calvary, there is a Resurrection. Even if high school is miserable, that doesn’t mean that your life has to be.

I tend to find songs that help me remind myself of who I am. Maybe you can make yourself a playlist that will help you combat the negative things bullies are telling you. Some songs that are particularly beautiful are the following: Chosen by Svrcina, Who I Am by Blanca, To Be Human by Sia, Beauty from Pain by Superchic[k], Fight Song by Rachel Platten, Stepping Stones by Helen Trevillion, and so many others. If you have a song that helps you, please share it in the comments so you can encourage others through music!

If the bullying continues or gets unbearable, please reach out for help from those around you. Run to Jesus and let Him help you heal your heart. And remember that God made you for a reason. Your life is just beginning. This isn’t the end, no matter how cruel people are.

May God make this year is a better year for you.

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TL;DR

The bullies at your school are inexperienced teenagers doing stupid things. What they're doing is not OK. God may not make them stop bullying; He didn't stop them from bullying Jesus (Matthew 26:39; Matthew 27:45-50). Jesus warns that we probably will be bullied, but with that warning, He also promises that we will never be alone in our sufferings (John 16:33). Pray for the bullies' hearts to be changed, put on your spiritual armor, and reach out to your community for help. Remember: God made you for a reason. Your life is just beginning. This isn’t the end, no matter how cruel people are.

By: Brianna

Brianna is a manager at her favorite childhood bookstore. She is likely to be found curled up with a book and her black cat, Bear, talking to a stranger, dancing outside in a thunderstorm, singing Disney songs while making cookies, or snuggling her best friend's baby while drinking coffee. Her heart is fueled by the desire to help people find their unique wings and use them in whatever capacity God has created them for. She is passionate about seeing and finding Christ in the secular world wherever she can.

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