Summary: A message on bullying for kids.

Friends and Enemies/Ridicule/Bullying

Scripture: "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." Matthew 5:43-44

Sandpaper/soft cloth. So I brought two items today. Sandpaper/soft cloth/flannel. One is rough, the other is very smooth.

If you rub this against your face it hurts, it is scratchy. The other one feels good. Sometimes we have a favorite blanket that feels like this. Bu these two pieces of cloth remind me of different kinds of people we may meet each day. Some are rough, irritating, and unkind. They may rub us the wrong way and we probably don't like to be around them. Others are gentle and kind and it is very easy to get along with them. We enjoy being around people like that, don't we? Jesus had a lot to say about how to treat other people. He said we should love others and that means even loving those who are unkind as well as our friends. Just because they are not as easy to love doesn’t mean we shouldn’t love them. In fact, Jesus said we show that we are God’s children by loving those who do not love us.

So you can probably think of someone who was very kind to you lately. How does that make you feel? Some of you may have had someone be mean to you lately. Someone at school. Perhaps you have even been bullied by someone. Sometimes by being nice in return they will stop. We kill them with kindness. That is the first thing we should do. But if we are being bullied and it really is bothering you, then you need to speak to an adult abut it…. A few years ago a student at one of our high schools was being bullied; kids were making fund f her and she did a terrible thing…she took her own life. We love you too much for anything like that to ever happen so I want you to know that you can talk to ….(1) parent (2) teacher or (3) pastor/Bible teacher.

Jesus set the example for us to follow. He was rejected, ridiculed, and crucified. But when he was on the cross, he prayed for his enemies. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Wow! That is a huge amount of love and forgiveness and that is the kind of love that Jesus wants you and me to have for others—friends and enemies alike.

Dear Father, help us to follow the example that Jesus set for us. Help us to love everyone, friends and enemies alike, so that they will know that we are true children of God. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.

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