Bully. Does the word bring an image to your mind? Does it immediately trigger a physical or psychological reaction? Merriam-Webster defines a bully as “a blustering, browbeating person; especially one who is habitually cruel, insulting, or threatening to others who are weaker, smaller, or in some way vulnerable.” In our lives we have all encountered or witnessed someone who has enacted that definition. The who, what, where, and how of that encountered changed us.
When I was in the 4th grade the class “bully” happened to be walking in front of me in the lunch line. He kept intentionally stopping in his tracks causing me to repeatedly bump into his back. After completing half the cafeteria loop with him behaving in this fashion I had enough and gave him a strong push. This caused a domino effect to occur ending with multiple students on the ground. My teacher saw no other option but to discipline me and the “bully.” Our punishment was having lunch with the Principal. My salad never contained so many tears.
Years later I learned that my teacher had felt trapped. The teacher had witnessed the behavior of the “bully” and planned to give him lunch detention. When I put my hands on the student I earned myself the same punishment. If I had been patient, I would have been spared from of any kind of discipline. Sometimes in life we jump ahead. We seek to “fix” the problems in our lives. We refuse to seek help from the one who has the power to deliver us from it all. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”–James 4:10
I learned that day that Mom really did mean it when she said, “get in trouble at school then get in even bigger trouble at home.” I also learned that day that bullies have reasons. Obtaining my psychology degree was not a whim. Queen Esther changed her life based on a “bully.” Please take some time to read the book of Esther. God’s good and perfect will can only be revealed when we humbly seek him. Esther humbly served and saved a nation. “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”–Esther 4:14
God may we honestly seek to allow you to define our purpose. Use every day moments to speak to us! Thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. May we use our lives to honor you! We pray this in your name. Amen!