A bully can often disguise himself as one who oppresses with charm, one hiding under the pretense of a protector. All the while, he leads you down the pathway of manipulation, takes you on a guilt trip, and drains you emotionally. Not all bullying requires giving up your milk money.
When others control you with their emotions, you are being manipulated. When another’s insecurity threatens your day-to-day joy, you are being emotionally attacked. When you are being quietly pressured into bowing down to prevent someone’s pouting, you are being backed into a corner…you are being bullied.
Do we have to wait till we go home with a black eye before we blow the whistle? What do you do when someone stronger than you controls you? What do you do when you see someone else’s life affected by a Jezebel who is so insecure that circumstances must be manipulated for her to feel comfortable and in control? Do you turn your head? Do you choose to stay out of it? I mean, no one wants to rock the boat, right?
If you would like to dive into the Word to find just one example of bullying, take a glance at Athaliah. This horribly wicked queen of Judah, who had grown up in the ultimate dysfunctional household with Ahab and Jezebel, chose to cling to the crown when her son, King Ahaziah, died. She was a queen mother, whose son’s death would cause the crown to pass to the next generation. So she murdered her grandchildren. (All but one, but that is another story.)
Yes, this is an extreme case of bullying. But murder begins in the heart. When insecurity stirs us to manipulate, when control is our prime goal—regardless of who falls in the wake of it—we are stumbling into the temptation to bully.
If you are in any way being bullied—physically, emotionally, verbally—there is hope. The oppressor cannot win when the oppressed has already surrendered completely to the Lord, the Defender of the weak. It may not happen overnight, but true freedom from oppression is possible. When you cannot climb out, cry out. May God rescue all who are under the grip of a controller.
And may we never feel afraid to be who we are, and to choose what is right …regardless of what others may think.
Scripture to read:
2 Chronicles 22 Revelation 12:11 Proverbs 31:8-9
1 Kings 18-21 Isaiah 14:4
Psalm 82:3 2 Corinthians 4:8-12
Father, bullying hurts my heart. I want to be able to step up and defend those who cannot defend themselves. I cry out for all who are under oppression. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.