Thursday, September 17, 2015

"Bullies Bring Out the Best in Us"

Isaiah 10.24-25, 27 HCSB

“My people who dwell in Zion, do not fear Assyria, though he strikes you with a rod and raises his staff over you as the Egyptians did. In just a little while My wrath will be spent and My anger will turn to their destruction."

“On that day his burden will fall from your shoulders, and his yoke from your neck. The yoke will be broken…

Have you ever seen a bully fall? They do. God uses bullies to teach us important lessons, then they’re gone. Smart bullies learn lessons along with their victims. Unfortunately for bullies, there aren’t many smart ones. When God is done with His purpose, bullies usually suffer the same fate as they were allowed to inflict. They do fall.

Clayton was a 6th grade bully. I did not watch where I was going and accidentally bumped into him before class began. Clayton immediately slapped me in the face, hard. The sound of it startled the entire class and they all stared at my red face. I was literally frozen with shame. Like the Wicked Witch of the West in the land of Oz, Clayton cackled in victory and presented me before his admiring crowd of 6th grade munchkins. I crept to my desk in humiliation.

If I could go back in time, I would have instantly hit Clayton back just as hard as he hit me. (I think the munchkins would have cheered.) Marching to principal’s office in trouble would have been far better than slinking to my seat in shame. I can’t go back in time but I but I can take valuable lessons from the experience…

  • I should watch where I’m going.
  • I can suffer a humility and shame and still survive.
  • Not everyone loves me.
  • Some people will hurt me for their purposes if I let them.

Since 6th grade, I met lots of bullies and learned a few more lessons…

  • Bullies can be stopped.
  • If I show courage, I can bring a bully's career to an end. 
  • Even if I can’t stop a bully, God can.

Perhaps you are in a relationship with a bully. Like Israel and Assyria, “he strikes you with a rod [of violence] and raises his staff [of intimidation] over you”. You are not alone. Jesus is with you. He was bullied to death and rose from the grave. Jesus can, and sooner or later will, take the bully’s “yoke from your neck. The yoke will be broken”.

Bullies can be stopped when their purpose is used up. Until then, become bully=proof byt seeking the virtue of Christ from deep inside yourself. Find the humility to suffer a little longer and the courage to stand up to the bully yourself. 

You could say bullies bring out the very best in us.

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