Monday, March 05, 2007

What is a bully? A combination of cowardice and arrogance? Webster says “one [who is] habitually cruel to others weaker than himself.” Another dictionary (various contributors) adds “a hired ruffian.”

I only wish bullying was limited to adolescence or pre-teens.

Students “tattle” less in middle school than elementary. I don’t know if this is good or bad. However, last week a student let me know someone was calling him a derogatory name. Well, we can’t very well respond to second hand information. I tried to explain to him that the name-calling is more a reflection on the person doing it than the person receiving it. Because you get called a name certainly doesn’t make it true. Unfortunately, people say mean things, it hurts but it happens. He seemed to understand.

I admit, I’ve felt “ganged up on” at school. It’s incredible but the “gang mentality” is alive and thriving. Knowing who you are in Christ is key at this point.

I’ve been reading in 2nd Chronicles lately. Bad kings followed by good kings, more bad kings, maybe one good one here and there. I continue to be amazed that one of the worst kings can give birth to the next king who is one of the best and likewise, a godly king gives birth to one of the most evil. Genetics seems to have little bearing on the choices the kings make. As I ponder this and puzzle over it, I wonder, maybe the kings are not very involved with raising their families. Maybe the wife/mother has more influence over her children than the father. For instance, King Hezekiah is one of the most godly kings; his mother was the daughter of Zechariah.

2nd Chronicles has plenty of examples of bullies. Look at King Sennacherib (love the name? “Cherib” in the name, yet he was evil, evil, evil), King of Assyria in chapter 32. Assyria attacked Judah, determined to take Jerusalem. The chapter is very interesting. King Hezekiah has this brilliant idea to eliminate the water supply outside the city so the enemy cannot access it, and he has a wonderful way of rallying his people in the face of adversity. Still, King Sennacherib has the audacity to insult God, Hezekiah, the stupidity of the people in believing their "lies" and further attempting to demoralize the people.

Their response? Praying to God. God answered in a powerful way. He sent an angel who wiped out everyone in the Assyrian camp; well, everyone except the King.

The demise of King Sennacherib? Disgrace, shame, defeat and death upon his return. His own sons killed him when he came home.

Bullies turn on each other.

Believers in the one true God know the ending. We win, in every scenario. Bullies never really win. Maybe temporarily, but it’s a false sense of victory. It’s an empty, counterfeit sense of power. It’s one of Satan’s most effective tools then and now: use others to boost yourself.

John 10:10 talks about a thief coming to steal, kill and destroy. Sounds like a bully. Jesus came to do the opposite: give, save and restore. He was such a radical. He turned everything upside down: to win, you lose; to gain, you give; to be saved, you surrender; to live, you die. He was merciful to the weak and commanded us to care for widows and orphans, the most vulnerable of people. May we lose ourselves once again Father and let You strengthen our resolve to make a difference.



At 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen!! It is as if you were talking to me, personally. Thank you for continuing to inspire and bring God glory!

At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless...
Greenfield, Indiana

At 9:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! What a message today. I loved it and learned a lot from it as well. Thank you for your post.

At 11:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this entry...thank you for sharing it. You are appreciated!


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