We have all watched it or been the victim. Fear and intimidation can be crippling. We have seen people use intimidation to exert power over others. We’ve seen people we care about freeze and try to keep the “powerful” pleased so they won’t be the target.
An imbalance of power that hammers away at love and respect for people is abusive. We tend to think that bullying only occurs between children in schools.
What happens when everyone involved is an adult? What if it happens in the workplace, family, or church?
When you watch as others are corrected or embarrassed in humiliating ways and you keep silent, you are making a deal with a bully. Your silence implies agreement.
As soon as you find yourself wondering how to “keep peace” so someone else won’t blow up or find fault with you, you are making a deal with a bully. You are losing your voice as the bully becomes the focus and takes over by insisting you submit to their control.
A person’s need to control their environment, their children, or their employees can become abusive, disrespectful, and dishonoring. When someone thinks they need to exert power over others, their thinking is usually based in fear. But we can’t eradicate fear from someone else. We must refuse thoughts of fear for ourselves and step in and speak up. We must face the problem.
The main goal of Sozo Life & Leadership is to add value to people, so what do I do when I see them repeatedly devalued? First, I pray and seek God’s direction, timing, and plan. His perspective is always higher and different from mine. I pray for those involved. Second, when He directs, I speak truth into the situation, to the person who is doing the bullying. I must confront with the truth.
It is wrong to allow others or myself to be disrespected. I must step in respectfully, even if the bully takes aim at me. I must not ponder what might happen to me for then my focus is on myself and not on the Lord. Then fear has opportunity to grow in me.
The only way to walk totally free from intimidation is to walk in the fear of the Lord. The Bible says, “In the fear of the Lord, there is strong confidence” (Proverbs 14:26).
We cannot serve two masters so either we fear man or we fear God. The Bible also says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This kind of fear is a right view of God that realizes His greatness and His love. When we know whom we serve in Him, we realize that we do not have to fear man. God’s perfect love always swallows up fear. It draws us closer to Him, not away from Him.
As bullies become more afraid, they become more dominating. This happens with people who are insecure. They treat people harshly to make it seem as if they are “in control” when actually they are covering up their own intimidation and fear.
When we try to make people obey by presenting an external threat, we handicap their understanding of how the kingdom of heaven works. Powerful people don’t try to get people to respect them; they create a respectful environment by showing respect. They deliberately set a standard for how they expect to be treated by the way they treat others.
Have you faced this or seen others be wrongly controlled? When we do nothing, we are partnering with a spirit of fear and handing over our power to bring change. Fear will take all the room you give it. Don’t give it space in your life or your thoughts.
To face situations properly, we must have these three things to walk in Godly boldness:
- Power. We must know God, that He is greater and more powerful than anything we may face.
- Love. We must love God more than ourselves because we trust Him.
- A sound mind. We must not be moved until we have the direction of the Lord, no matter how great the pressure.
We will always face opposition and resistance in this world. If we are going to increase Heaven’s influence where we are, we will have to take action.
In the letter to the Philippians, Paul wrote,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 3:14)
There’s a high calling and a low calling. John Bevere writes “The high calling is a life lived on earth according to heaven’s standards; it is to see the Kingdom of God manifested through an individual life. People who live the high calling control their surroundings. By staying in their authority, they change the spiritual climate from oppression to liberty.”
It’s easier to blend in than it is to stand out. Don’t settle or compromise. Don’t conform or you will reflect the image of what you elevate in your life. Never make a deal with a bully.
Can we pray together?
Father, in the name of Jesus, I ask You to strengthen me through your love and wisdom. Forgive me for drawing back in times of difficulty in order to preserve my own security. Forgive me for not walking in your authority to bring change where I am. Lord Jesus, I choose to receive your strengthening grace that enables me to speak your word and do your will with boldness and love.
I break the words of intimidation and control spoken over my life by myself or others. I break the grip of fear of man off my life. You unclean spirits of darkness, I submit myself to God and I resist you. I will give you no place in my life, so go in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
May the Lord bless you as you live for Him in boldness, bringing liberty.
(c) Robin Lawrimore Lewis, December 29, 2013
Sources: Breaking Intimidation, John Bevere, copyright 1995; Keep Your Love On: Connection, Communication, and Boundaries by Danny Silk, copyright 2013; Loving Our Kids on Purpose: Making a Heart to Heart Connection by Danny Silk, copyright 2008.