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Facing down bullies

Recently, I had a showdown with an office bully whose bullying status I had previously been unaware of. She’s a smooth manipulator and it’s only been in the past couple of months that I’ve been able to see her machinations. I don’t work in the dark and I don’t speak in riddles. I say what I mean and I mean what I say. And as often as it’s within my control (very often), my actions line up with my words. For this reason liars in both word and deed can escape detection for some time with me because I have a tendency to also take people at their word. (I truly don’t think there’s any reason to ever lie, so I do assume people are speaking their truth to me.)

This office bully, like many other bullies before her in my life, took my kindness as a weakness. She took my simple nature for ignorance. I used ask why people mistreated me. I used to wonder what people could have against openness and joy. How can people nonchalantly or viciously trample on offers of friendship and love? But now I know they are not attacking “LaShawnda the person”, they are attacking the Spirit housed within me. Truly, what fellowship does darkness have with light? They are fighting against everything in me that’s exposing everything they wish to keep hidden in them. I see too much. I hear too much. I feel too much. I understand too much. I offer too much. I am strengthened in all my senses by the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ.

I don’t back down from bullies. I have no intention of backing down from this one. I believe everyone and everything that even attempts to instill fear needs to be confronted. I needed this person to know I am not afraid of her. My kindness is not fear-based; it’s love based. I’m not a punk. The more anyone gets me twisted the more foolish they’re going to look. My career is not in her hands; she has no say over my future – she may think she does, because she’s putting stock in the hierarchy of the world. But I know who controls my life and my future. I know who favors and positions me. And I know that as long as I stand up for the truth that is the Spirit within me, the selfsame Spirit will guide and protect me. There is no fear in my body because I know whatever space I give to fear is multiplied by the loss of love.

I’ve been telling people for years: Whatever fear you have, simply shine a light on it. Fear cannot stand up to light. It’s the same with bullies. Bullies are cowards at heart. They are masters of hiding their hurts, pains, and insecurities from others while projecting the same onto others. They prey on the fears of people they PERCEIVE to be weaker than them. My solution? Change the bully’s perception. Stand up to him/her. Speak up. Fight back (this is not always physical). When you hold your ground, they will back down. Even if you lose the fight, you will win the war; because of the innate cowardice of bullies, they seek easy prey, they cannot handle resistance. Keep that in mind during your next bully confrontation.

Be blessed in the knowledge that what is for you is for you and someone can only take what is yours if you allow them to.

But David said to him, “You come to me using a sword and two spears. But I come to you in the name of the Lord All-Powerful, the God of the armies of Israel! You have spoken against him. Today the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll kill you and cut off your head. Today I’ll feed the bodies of the Philistine soldiers to the birds of the air and the wild animals. Then all the world will know there is a God in Israel! Everyone gathered here will know the Lord does not need swords or spears to save people. The battle belongs to him, and he will hand you over to us.”

So David defeated the Philistine with only a sling and a stone. He hit him and killed him. He did not even have a sword in his hand.  (1 Samuel 17:45-47, 50, NCV)

What do you think?

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