When we think of the word bully, we think of the big, mean, nasty kids in the school yard picking on other kids for being different. We see them spewing hateful words, poking fun, tearing down, belittling them, maybe sometimes even get physically violent.
What we don’t realize is we can ALL be bullies sometimes.
I know I am a bully.
I lose my patience too easily with my children, and instead of getting down on their level, trying to figure out why they are crying or whining for the 500th million time that day, I stand over them and yell at them to stop whining or else! Or tell them to stop acting like a baby.
That is bullying my children.
I snap at my husband when I don’t feel he helps the way I want him to help. I tell him he isn’t doing it right. I come in, take over, roll my eyes, huff, tell him he just can’t do anything right.
That is bullying my husband.
Yes. This is being a bully, and I admit, there are times I am one. Bullies don’t just exist in schools. They exist inside all of us. I am pretty sure all of have had the inner bully come out at one time or another.
Something I have been working on lately is balancing truth and love. As a Christian I am called to live my life the way Jesus calls us to. The way the Bible tells us to. We are required to share the Gospel and God’s Truth with those around us… but sometimes instead of sharing it, we turn into bullies.
Bullies for God.
Some days I do pretty well at this delicate balancing act, other days I royally screw it up. I act like a bully rather than acting like the humble servant that my Savior came to this earth to be. I bash people. I tear them down with words. I give body gestures that shows my disapproval. I give eye rolls. I make people feel small for things they do, when I act up just as much. I screw up too. I sin too.
When I am being a Christian bully, I am no better than those caught in horrible addictions, or behaviors, etc. I am just as wrong. I am no better than the kid on the playground making fun of the little short kids with glasses and a freckled nose.
In fact, I am worse.
Bullying accomplishes nothing except pushing people farther away from Christ. Yes, speak truth! We HAVE to. We are CALLED to… but let’s make sure in sharing this Truth we do not become bullies.
God doesn’t want bullies. He wants servants. He wants us to be the bigger ones. He wants us to turn the other cheek, not be the ones slapping. He wants us, when asked for our cloak, to give them our shirt also, not be the one taking their shoes because they are not the right color.
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you. 32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:27-36
I don’t know about you but the previous passage is pretty much the farthest thing from bullying there is!
I need to cage my inner bully and throw away the key. Do you?
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Colossians 4:6
“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” Ephesians 4:15-16