Bullying has existed from the beginning of the ages. As technology expands and social media becomes the primary focus and medium of our lives we are now exposed to bullying more often. Many students and adults are partaking in activities related to cyber-bullying. Some may not actually be bullying but may have been the victim or a bystander of abuse. Statistics show that 70% of students reported seeing frequent bullying on-line and 75% have visited a website bashing another student. Many people may not consider the impacts that cyber-bullying can have. Studies have shown that emotional, verbal and electronic abuse can cause the same emotional and psychological effect as physical bullying. The bad thing about cyber-bullying is you cannot get away from it as easy as a physical confrontation…it is on-going and others fuel the fire. 160,000 kids stay home every day because they are afraid to be bullied at school. Children who are bullied are more likely to suffer from long-term damage that extends into their adulthood. They may have difficulty forming healthy relationships, low self esteem, anxiety, physical illness, obesity or depression which can lead to suicide. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people. There are 4,400 deaths per year and for every suicide there are at least 100 attempts. Over 14% of high school students have attempted suicide and 7% have considered it. Studies have found that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying. I have a 15 year-old daughter and try so hard to instill the word of God into her. I tell her that our identity should be in Christ, not in the acceptance of the world. There are many scriptures in the Bible that address judgment, devising wicked plans, gossiping and partaking in works of darkness. We need to help our children and friends stand together against those that are trying to cause affliction. Proverbs 22:10 (ESV) tells us, “Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out, and quarreling and abuse will cease.” God’s word also tells us to expose works of darkness and to resist the devil and he will flee. Victims of abuse cannot stand alone, especially when they are children. We need to hold each other up as the roots of redwood trees do and fight against this viral culture of cyber-bullying in unity. Our children need to know God’s word and find strength in it. Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV) tells us, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

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