“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40 (NRSV)
How to not be a bully:
-Don’t let your fear control you- We often bully others when we are afraid. We are worried that if we don’t act first, we won’t be ready for what will come at us. Trust that things will work out ok, even if it is not how you thought it should be.
For fear is nothing but a giving up of the helps that come from reason; Wisdom 17:12(NRSV)
-Don’t let your agenda drive you- We all want our way most of the time. However, a collective effort will always produce a better result. Listen well to others and look for where your opinions merge with theirs.
For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Jeremiah 29:1 (NRSV)
-Maintain compassion for others- Everyone has insecurities that you can use to push your agenda. Instead of using them to your advantage, be an encourager. Use their strengths to balance your weaknesses.
Encourage one another and build up each other. 1 Thessalonians 5:10
-Notice resistance- When you sense resistance or disagreement beginning, you are likely coming on too strong. Try a gentler approach.
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, 2 Timothy 2:24
Trust that the world is more good than bad- The world is a beautiful place when we are kind to ourselves and to others. Being kind to ourselves, loving ourselves is often the most challenging part of the scripture above. We see in others the things we do not like in ourselves. Focus on the good in yourself and the good in others. Be gentle, be kind, be loving, and be forgiving of yourself. Then you will see others in a more gentle, kind, loving, and forgiving way.
Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-3 (NRSV)
This is how we fight for peace.