Readings: Psalm 21; Genesis 15:1-18; Matthew 12: 33-37
Peace on Earth, good will toward…wait a minute.
Have you all been paying any attention? If not, let me just let you know something important…2016 was the “Year of the Bully.”
I initially thought this was something special just for me (suck it Expedia mean girls), but I realize now that bullies are on the rise. After all we just elected a bully to the white house and he keeps picking bullies (or pushovers/unqualified people for the other bullies to control) to his cabinet. Bullies think they are in charge of everything…bathrooms, guns, who belongs here, what an American “looks” like, shaming fat people, uteruses, healthcare, food for kids, and the list goes on and on and on.
Bullies are emboldened right now. They began making more noise during the election cycle and now feel totally justified in their disgusting behavior.
I’m currently working through some issues with a person who tries to bully those around me. I have tried a number of tactics from extreme kindness to firm conversation. I’m so tired…and then I read:
A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad.
The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you. (Matthew 12: 33, 37)
Peace is letting the bully’s true colors shine through. Peace is letting the bullies own words acquit or condemn him/her. Peace is knowing that everyone around a bully sees the fruit they bear…bad fruit.
Of course, those of us who are strong must fight the bullies who come for others. Sometimes we will lose. Sometimes we will win. But we will always fight for justice, goodness, grace, and kindness.
Because we are good trees and our fruit will be good!