I think if we are honest with ourselves, we can admit that at one time or another we have all been bullied AND we have all been the bully. But what have we learned from it? Hopefully we’ve learned how to ask forgiveness, and also to forgive. And in doing so we can then help others who find themselves in the same situation.
There’s no bully in your life that can’t be overcome with God in your corner. Believe it, and act on it! There is also no better moment to implement change in your life than right.now. Come on, friend, you’re MORE than a conqueror! Don’t settle for another day of feeling “less than”! Inside of you lies the Holy Spirit inspired power to change from victim to victor! 🙂
Have a blessed day!
This morning’s devo selection:
Cure for the Common Bully
Nothing beats knowing someone bigger than you has got your back.
by Jarrett Stevens
Justin Griffin–Holtz. A name I will never forget. He was the first bully who ever picked on me. I was in fourth grade, he in sixth. From what I remember, he stood about 7 feet tall, maybe 8. His mouth was filled with braces that, if necessary, could be used as a weapon.
One day while I was playing H.O.R.S.E. with some friends, Justin Griffin–Holtz started saying that I couldn’t make the shot, that I was a loser and a bed–wetter (standard bully talk). Something in me snapped. With ball in hand, I took my shot. Not at the basket, but at Justin Griffin–Holtz’s big bully face.
It was a bold move. And a dumb one. The moment was beautiful, though. Three months of torment answered with one single word, “Spalding,” written backward across Justin’s face. He came charging at me, braces locked and loaded. I did what any self–respecting fourth grader would do. I screamed. As Justin Griffin–Holtz’s body slammed into mine, I heard a familiar voice above my howls. It was my older brother. He and two of his eighth grade buddies had heard my screams like a bat signal sent out over the kickball field. They grabbed Justin Griffin–Holtz and carried him to the recess lady. From that day on, Justin Griffin–Holtz left me alone.
Nothing beats an older brother. Nothing beats knowing someone bigger than you has got your back. The Bible tells the story of Gideon, a guy who discovered someone was there for him, too—even in the face of an entire army of bullies, the Midianites.
The Midianites constantly threatened to destroy Israel. They were big and bad enough to do it, too. To many Israelites, even to Gideon, it felt like God had forgotten them. But God told Gideon in Judges 6:16
not to worry because “… I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man” (NLT). It was hard for Gideon to believe, but in faith he put together an army of around 32,000 soldiers.
But God told Gideon with an army that big, Israel might take the credit and forget God was the one who won the fight (Judges 7:2). So Gideon pulled the troops together and said that if anyone was scared, they could go home. So 22,000 soldiers packed up and left!
With 10,000 soldiers remaining, Gideon probably still stood a chance. But God had something smaller in mind. So Gideon downsized again, cutting his army to just 300 people! That night God sent Gideon to spy on the enemy. He overheard a Midianite describing a dream that apparently had only one interpretation: Israel would beat the bully! Gideon ran back to his camp, woke up his 300 soldiers and set out for the attack.
But instead of packing swords or shields or ninja stars or grenade launchers, Gideon had each soldier take only a trumpet in his right hand and a lit torch hidden under a clay jar in his left. Gideon and his 300 soldiers surrounded the enemy camp. At midnight, they blew their trumpets and smashed their jars to reveal the light. The Midianites were so freaked out they began fighting each other and nearly wiped themselves out. Gideon’s men just stood there, watching God do what only God could do.
Imagine having that kind of confidence. What if you no longer had to hide behind the false strength of popularity, or good looks, or quick put–downs, or gossip, or having to be the funniest, or the toughest? What if your strength and confidence came from God and his unconditional love for you? What if, instead of relying on your own strength, you actually asked God to go before you and with you into each day, each problem and each fear? I bet you’d begin to see things like Gideon did. You’d begin to see God a whole lot bigger than you thought and your personal “Justin Griffin–Holtz” a whole lot smaller than he seems.