Summary: Kids are constantly being made fun of and bullied. This sermon looks at what it means to overcome and rise above the bully.
Darrell Loomis was a truck driver. Each week he hauled goods from Cincinnati to Atlanta. Joe’s Diner was his favorite eating spot on the route. Darrell always stopped for meals at Joe’s.
One summer afternoon, Darrell parked his truck and walked into the diner. Sitting down in his favorite seat—the third counter stool—he ordered the usual—hot meat loaf sandwich, mashed potatoes, and iced tea. In the distance came a roar and a cloud of dust, followed by the arrival into the parking lot of twelve members of a motorcycle gang, riding Harley-Davidsons with extended forks. These were fine bikes, quite a sight to see as the gang parked them next to Darrell’s Peterbilt truck and set down the kickstands.
As the gang stomped into the diner, the leader immediately spotted Darrell. “Well, who is this little sissy at the counter?” he sneered. Darrell merely remained silent and continued eating his lunch. Forming a semicircle around Darrell, the gang members started snapping their fingers in rhythmic cadence. Unperturbed, Darrell just sat and ate his lunch. One of the gang members picked up Darrell’s iced tea and poured it over his head. The others watched, still snapping their fingers in unison. With his napkin Darrell quietly dried his face, but said nothing. Another gang member picked up Darrell’s mashed potatoes and stuck a handful into Darrell’s ear, wiping his hand on Darrell’s back. Darrell remained calm and didn’t respond. He simply continued to eat his lunch.
Although the gang continued to harass and taunt Darrell, he never responded to any of it. Even when Darrell finished his lunch, he only stood up, turned to Joe, and silently paid his bill. He left the diner without saying a word.
The leader of the gang laughed and said to Joe, “What a wimp! That guy sure ain’t much of a man!”
Joe, looking out the window of the diner said, “No, and he ain’t much of a driver either. He just ran over twelve Harleys.”
Over the past couple of weeks, you guys had the opportunity to write down what you would like Adam and I to talk about here on Wednesday nights. Well, over the next three weeks, we’ll be looking at some of your suggestions together, before we jump into a series on the most desired sermon topic-Revelation. One of you listed the question-someone teases me all the time (24/7)-what do I do?
Well, tonight we’re going to look at that in a lesson I’m titling The Big Tease: How to Overcome Bullying. By show of hands, how many of you have ever been picked on, made fun of, teased, or bullied by someone else? Now, how many of you having been picked on, made fun of, teased, or bullied were done so by someone who called themselves your friends? Now, by show of hands, how many of you have picked on someone, made fun of someone, teased someone, or bullied someone?
I hope that we can see that many of us are in the same boat here when it comes to bullying, and being made fun of. Many of us have been the butt of some awful jokes, and some of us have actually been the creator of those jokes. It’s plain to see, though, that sticks and stones may break your bones, but words often will hurt more than we think.
When I was in junior high, I was a chubby kid, and I did very well in school, and I didn’t have many friends. The friends I had were usually the other smart kids. So, on this particular year, my parents wanted to throw my brother and I a birthday party with our friends. So, we gave invitations to some of the popular kids in our class, and not to our smart, nerdy friends. The big day came, and we were all set to eat pizza at Pizza Hut for our birthday party. They had balloons, and had set out spots at the table for the amount of kids that we had invited. We had our superman theme or whatever it was, with plates and cups, and the time had come for all the kids to show up. So we waited. Mom and Dad, my brother and I, and all of our imaginary friends. No one else showed up to our birthday party. We invited people we thought were cool, but those people were actually ones that made fun of us. You could probably imagine how embarrassed my brother and I were, in a full restaurant with our table set up for a big party, and no one shows up.
I was made fun of for being chubby. I was made fun of for being smart. I was made fun of for not having many friends. I know how it feels to be picked on. I even had my lunch money taken by kids bigger than me. I know how it feels. It hurts, and if you’re not careful it can cause you to become very self-conscious, and have low self esteem.