Going Down Swinging - Standing Against Bullies
I don't like bullies. They are usually bigger then everyone else, have no regard for right and wrong, and demand attention and respect where none is deserved. They impose their will on the small and weak because inside they are small and weak people.
In the seventh grade my friends and I were playing football outside of the recreation center on the Island of Crete. As usual the local bully decided to interrupt our game. He grabbed the ball and wouldn't give it back. No one said anything. They stood there as he laughed at us. "Give me the football," I confronted him, as he stood a head taller then me. "Make me," came the typical reply.
Rearing my arm back I let fly my fist with all the force I could muster and landed it firmly on his abdomen. He looked down at me and laughed, and with one swift motion cold cocked me alongside of my head. When I woke up he was gone and I was surrounded by my friends. He never bothered us again.
In our culture we are faced with all kinds of bullies. They can be political, people in authority, criminal, spiritual, and familial. No matter where the bully comes from they excerpt their power over others for personal gain, whether physical or emotional. People bully because it makes them feel powerful and important when otherwise they are not. They are typically marginalized people who feel that the only way they can be heard is by inflicting dominance over others.
The greatest bully of all time is Satan. He works through fear and intimidation. He applies guilt and shame to keep us hidden in the darkness. He moves nations against nation to create havoc and chaos. He keeps us silent for fear of retribution and persecution. He calls us racist, homophobic, and intolerant. He accuses us of being uncaring and without compassion. He incites division and malicious gossip, hatred and prejudice, individualism and self preservation. He tells us to put ourselves first and then whispers we aren't good enough. He is a bully and we often let him push us around. The Apostle Paul said,
Ephesians 6:13 "Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm."
There are two words in the New Testament translated stand. One means to stand firm under judgment. In this passage it means to stand in opposition to, and to stand against. We are to stand against the blowing wind of evil. We are to hold our ground and not run or let go. We are to measure the enemy and give him no advantage. It is a dangerous proposition because sometimes we get cold cocked. Our advantage is that we don't do it in our own power. God has given us armor that protects us in this spiritual war, and we will not fail if we keep it on.
There is a lot of ways to stand against the bullies of the world. Some are affective and others are not. But one thing I know is that if you don't stand against them then they will stand over you. I would rather go down swinging. I'm just saying.