Scripture--1 Peter 2-5
The author of the next two letters claims to be the Apostle Peter, writing to churches in Asia Minor experiencing religious persecution.
For more information see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Epistle_of_Peter
It is so clear to me that the author is talking to people who are struggling. Who are hurting. I thought a lot about how this would come off to a kid who was being bullied. Its all the theology my mother taught me so long ago, when I would come home crying that kids picked on me.
(3:9) "Don't pay back evil for evil or insult for insult. Instead give blessing in return. You were called to do this so you might inherit a blessing."
(4:7b-8) "Therefore, be self-controlled and clearheaded so you can pray. Above all show sincere love to each other, because love brings about the forgiveness of many sins".
Bullying is prevelant in today's schools and homes. But there have always been people persecuted. I wonder how the world would be if everyone followed what St. Peter described. If we never traded insults or "got revenge". I'll admit to anyone my naievete and Pollyanna-ish attitude, but I really try to live my life this way. I don't always succeed, but I believe that if you truly love all people, good will happen. There have been many times in my life this has lead to me being taken advantage of, but I'd rather that happen, then the evil make me a bad person.
I might be in trouble if I'm ever lucky enough to have kids. I don't think you should hit them back (unless you're playing softball, but that's a story for another day!). I don't think you should insult them to get even. I think we all could spend more time loving and killing with kindness. Maybe then they'll really know that we are Christians by our love.
Jesus, it hurts when others reject us, bully us, insult us. It hurts when the world's evil seems to prevail. But we know that you suffered to. We know that you bled--from your body and from your soul. Give us a piece of your strength and a full portion of your love, so that we may go out in the world and do your good. Let us make a difference with our love. Thank you! Amen.