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Teased and Taunted

Year after year it was the same—Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle. Each time, Hannah would be reduced to tears and would not even eat.  1 Samuel 1:7 NLT

Photo courtesy of pixabay.I was teased and taunted as a child, sometimes for my thin arms and legs and other times because of my glasses or hand-me-down clothes.

I didn’t see it back then, but now I assume all kids are teased at one time or another. Likely, most of them are hurt by it, too, as I was. Contrary to the old saying about sticks and stones, words can hurt.

As adults, we are still vulnerable to others wishing us harm, perhaps as subjects of gossip or as victims of unjustly negative performance reviews. Since we teach our children not to resort to violence or to return the insults, we certainly can’t do so either. What can help us feel better?

Peninnah, one of the wives of Elkanah, taunted his other wife, Hannah, year after year because Hannah had no children. Hannah was so hurt that she cried and refused to eat. In desperation, Hannah went to the temple where she wept and prayed—vowing that if God gave her a son, she would offer him back to the Lord as His servant. God heard her prayer, and Hannah soon conceived Samuel. Peninnah had to cease her insults.

While God probably won’t interfere in as big a way as He did with Hannah—finally allowing her to have a son—we can turn to God when others cause us pain. We can pray for soothing and for the redemption of the taunters. We can ask for the strength to proceed without retaliating. Even just thinking of God at such a painful time reminds us of our worth in God’s eyes, regardless of the opinions of our peers.

Praying can make you feel better. Remember you have God on your side.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

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Kim Sheard

Kim Sheard owns a pet-sitting company and spends her days working with animals. She participates in the music ministry and serves on the Worship Committee at Vale United Methodist Church. She lives in Virginia with her husband, Henry, and dog, Scout.