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Summary: This past week, a 15 year old teenage girl in BC committed suicide. This message is a Christian response to the very real issue of bullying.

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GO LIGHT YOUR WORLD: REFUSE TO DO NOTHING!

THE STORY BEHIND THE MESSAGE:

• Wednesday I saw a video on youtube that had been posted by a 15 year old BC girl named Amanda Todd.

• This girl had been brutally bullied into a deep depression until finally – one month after posting this video – she committed suicide.

• After watching this video, I posted on my blog and twitter account (#RIPAmanda) about this story. As of last night: 77,000 hits on my blog, 136,000 hits on my youtube page.

The question I’ve been asking myself is:

What should we as Christians – as the church – do in response to a tragedy like this?

STORY: Of when I was bullied in high school but I told my parents & we reported it to police.

How many of you have ever been picked on, made fun of, teased, or bullied by someone else?

Now – bullying isn’t new. As long as there have been people, there have been bullies.

One of the most well-known stories in the Bible is a story of bullying: David and Goliath

Goliath bullied, mocked and intimidated the children of Israel until David stood up to him.

THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW VIDEO: Opie and the Bully #1

This show was from the 60’s – bullying isn’t a new thing.

But it’s definitely changed a lot since then…

HERO MUSIC VIDEO: By Superchic(k)

WHAT IS BULLYING: (www.publicsafety.gc.ca/res/cp/res/2008-bp-01-eng.aspx)

Bullying is characterized by acts of intentional harm, repeated over-time, in a relationship where an imbalance of power exists. It includes physical actions (punching, kicking, biting), verbal actions (threats, name calling, insults, racial or sexual comments), and social exclusion1 (spreading rumours, ignoring, gossiping, excluding) (Pepler & Craig, 2000; Ma, Stewin & Mah, 2001).

CANADIAN BULLYING STATISTICS: (www.stopabully.ca).

A study on bullying by the University of British Columbia, based on 490 students (half female, half male) in Grades 8-10 in a B.C. city in the winter of 1999, showed:

» 64 per cent of kids had been bullied at school.

» 72 per cent observed bullying at school at least once in a while.

» 40 per cent tried to intervene.

» 64 per cent considered bullying a normal part of school life.

» 25-33 per cent said bullying is sometimes OK and/or it is OK to pick on losers.

» 61-80 per cent said bullies are often popular and enjoy high status among peers.

- 1 in 5 Canadian Teens have witnessed online Bullying

- 51% of all teens have had negative experience with social networking

- 16% said someone posted an embarassing photo of them

Cyberbullying Statistics (when someone is bullied online):

• 90% of parents are familiar with cyberbullying; 73% are concerned about it.

• 2 in 5 parents report their child has been involved in a cyberbullying incident

1. GO LIGHT YOUR WORLD:

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 5:14-16).

• Jesus wants us as Christians to go into the world with His love and make a difference!

• Salt – is a preservative – it keeps food from going bad.

• Light – shines into the darkness. Represents good deeds that we do in love.

• The world is a dark hopeless place and needs to see the light and goodness of Jesus!

2. REFUSE TO DO NOTHING:

• You might have heard of the expression “Carpe Diem” – seize the day. It’s Biblical!

“9 For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. 10 Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them. 12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. 13 But when the light shines on them, it becomes clear how evil these things are. 14 And where your light shines, it will expose their evil deeds. This is why it is said, "Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light." 15 So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days.” (Eph. 5:9-16, NLT).

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