I recognize bullies. I “get” them; I feel the pain pulsing in their hearts and empathize with the desperation pumping through their veins. For that same poison has pulsed and pumped through my own bloodstream.
And although DNA may make one person more susceptible to becoming a bully than another, most bullies are not born, they’re created. They’re molded, sometimes instantly, and sometimes over many years, by hands of rejection, abandonment, abuse, and heartache – and these hands always craft into the dead center of every bully one thing: fear.
Fear is the master; the bully is but its slave. Anytime you see a prideful man, you see a man who is scared to death.
If we bullies were honest with you, we would tell you a few things.
We would tell you that the reason we make you feel so stupid, is because we’re terrified you may figure out how smart you truly are – and if that happens, you’d realize how dumb we truly are.
When we control you, it’s because we are fearful that too much freedom may allow you to see that you don’t really need us anymore.
When we hurt you and intimidate you, it is because we hope that by keeping your head down; you’ll never be able to look up – look up and see that we are actually the ones trembling.
When we make fun of your friends and your family, it’s because our hearts are wrenching with jealously for that kind of love.
When we nag, criticize, and point out your every weakness, it’s only because we’re petrified you’ll get a taste of your true goodness – and realize how much better you are than us.
We are paranoid because we know we deserve the worst, and we assume everyone else sees it too.
We don’t hate you; we hate how much we love you.
We hate how much we need you.
We hate how ugly we are, how weak we are, how broken we are, how lost and desperate we are.
We hate how scared we are.
So we spend our life in a state of constant self-defense.
Until, if we’re lucky, we get to the point where we can’t defend anymore, and we give up – even if only long enough to murmur the plea, “Lord, help me.”
The only cure to the bully’s ill is love. Not just any love, certainly not human love, but only Perfect Love can cast out the fear that strangles and entangles the bully’s heart.
Love that never abandons, never fails, never lies, never takes advantage, never controls, never abuses, and never disappoints – but rather Love that comforts, heals, saves, forgives, and endures forever.
Day by day, grace by grace, and “Lord, help me” by “Lord, help me,” Jesus Christ is taking my fear and insecurity — and turning this born-again bully into a person who is free to love without fear.
The only way to win the fight… is to quit fighting.