When I was young, there were a number of bullies in my life. Some girls made fun of my clothes, my weight, my lack of material possessions. A few boys postured themselves around those of us who appeared weaker or less than.
With the girls, I would slink away allowing their taunts to trail behind me.
Funny enough, with the boys, I turned and confronted several of them. On the way to school one day, I stood between a boy a much larger one who had apparently decided the younger was the object of torment for the day.
Why did I face one type of tormentor and not another?
Everyone in my sphere of contact knew or knew of my older brothers, so when I turned and defied the antagonist, I could see recognition as the assailant’s eye open larger. In those moments, the simple knowledge of my sibling’s protectiveness grew courage within me.
The strand of taunts from the girls remained attached to my soul for many years. Those threads cut deep and created the lie that I didn’t fit anywhere or measure up in any way. I allowed anxiety to find a home.
My stressors were unique to me at the time. Today, many things cause people to fear. Lately, COVID seems to be one of the largest usurpers of peace. But homelessness, racial tensions, financial ruin, health issues, joblessness, death, are driving forces of anxiety as well.
If lies and fear had faces, we might be a bit braver to turn on them. We are weakened and become victims if we think there’s nothing we can do.
We often don’t recognize the profile of fear and lies because they hide behind masks provided by the devil.
The masks of:
All of the fears make up the expression of the one who wants each of us hobbled and restrained emotionally and spiritually. The devil plays any bullying game possible to keep us from whirling on him and confronting him with truth.
Think about Daniel and the men who advised the king to make a law against prayer. But he ignored them and did the exact thing they wanted stopped.
What about Moses and Aaron who took on Pharaoh when he wouldn’t release the Israelites? They strongly opposed the ruler because they knew God was with them.
David faced a bear, a lion, a giant, and an outraged Saul while standing in God’s authority.
My brothers were my confidence, but they could not always be there for me.
God is the sole and soul choice for all situations and all times. He calls us each day to stand strong and courageous (Joshua 1:9)
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned lately has to do with Jesus being confident in Who He came from and where He was going. Because of this, He dealt with many bullies and still fulfilled what God sent Him to do.
When we believe the devil’s lies, fear digs deep inside of our hearts. But, if we remember Whose we are and Who is always with us, we can grasp the truth of Scripture and face the bully no matter what mask is worn.
Photo credit: Unsplash-Anh Nguyen