A bully is a person who habitually seeks to harm or intimidate those whom they perceive as vulnerable. When someone that is stronger or more intelligent, tries to dominate through consistent initiations, subtlety or obviously, with intent to manipulate another. Some bullying tactics are waged through Intimidation to take away the right or privilege to serve another’s agenda.
What to do with Bullies
In the school yard we fought them, or we ran away. Standing toe to toe to meet the challenge was met with fury or flurry. On either account each side was aware of what was to happen if challenged again. The outcome was going to determine the fate of the oppressed. Some would stand with the bully so that they wouldn’t come under their wrath, others stood with the underdog. The end conclusion every time is that bullying is wrong.
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Bullies have a heart problem; they project a meanness or a superiority because they are broken inside.
- Hurting deeply
- Overcompensating for something they don’t like in themselves.
- Misplaced identity trying to be something or someone they are not.
- Wrong allocation of power wanting control at all cost.
- They are weak in their emotions projecting insecurity.
It is easy to hate bullies but often the ones who bully have been bullied themselves. That doesn’t make it right, but it gives perspective on how to minister to them.
Bullies Create Division
The devil’s plan is to divide and conquer. His masterful splintering weakens and brings suspicion. So, what do we do? Many kings in the bible demanded worship and bullied their subjects into submission – but God’s people standing in faith had an eternal testimony.
Who we are, is not the issue? But what we stand for – is. The three Hebrew boys stood against the tyranny of Nebuchadnezzar’ and said “we are not careful to answer you in this matter” they honored the Lord even if it meant their peril. In Daniel 3:6. Mordecai stood in the face of tyranny and said, I will not bow in Esther 3:2. What they stood for was far greater than themselves. They loved not to love their lives even if it meant death in Revelations 12:11. Reading through Hebrews 11 shows us heroes that dwelt among bullies and took God’s promises as truth and God got the glory in life or in death.
How should we act?
- Teach others truth, not just perception of truth.
- Demonstrate the life of the gospel
- Speak out in love and conviction when opposed
- Decide now what you will do when challenged
- Have the right spirit, not just reacting to people
- The battle is the Lords, so let your causes resemble Him.
Undoubtedly, fallen men divide, and the devil laughs as he disrupts emotions and peaceful traditions. Families will be divided if there is no unity at the cross, and so will communities, as they try to preserve themselves. We must be true to what God has said. The pendulum of life will swing back into balance at some point, but the benchmark will have been moved, the new normal will be abnormal. Let’s remember and defend what is healthy and Godly.
Matthew 5:43-48: We are told to love our enemies and to do good to those who despitefully use you. We can have a plan to be intentional in showing Christ nature. It is easy to love those who love you back, but the reward happens when we love the unlovable. We are not advocating to be a whipping post or a welcome mat but to see the person in front of us as someone made in the image of Christ and to relate to them in that way. They may not be acting like that but through prayer and action we can show them their true design.
As we look ahead let us not lose heart – the battle is the Lords, and HE wins. The devil is the ultimate bully – he is a toothless lion that can only roar. Sin and temptation can harass and bully us into an arena we don’t want to be in. Set margins and be sober and vigilant because the “bully” wants to subject you to his power. Let’s recognize who the real enemy is and lift up Jesus at all cost. Stand firm.
Jason is a graduate from Maryland Bible College and Seminary, and presently he leads the Pastoral Care Team of Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. Since age 16, Jason has been involved with mission work among the former Soviet-Bloc countries in Eastern Europe, as well as in Asia, and in the United States. While living in Ukraine, he helped church plant three new churches that continue to thrive today under trained nationals. He has also written five books and has his own podcast (www.InnerRevolution.us)