We hear the stories every day and every day it only seems to get worse. We mourn the loss of our youth and we wring our troubled hands because we just do not know what to make of this problem or how to fix it. Teen suicide is on the rise and a common cause appears to be bullying. Bullying of any sort is disgraceful, and unless the victim has a strong relationship with the Lord, the effects can be traumatizing for years. Spiritual bullying can be especially painful. It occurs when the victim’s morals, character, or beliefs become habitually attacked.
How does one fight a force unseen but no less hateful?
What does God think about spiritual bullying?
“God choreographs the “molecular dance” which goes on every second of every minute of every day in every cell of the universe…He is not too busy to keep records even of our falling hair. Yet in our darkness we suppose He has overlooked us. He hasn’t.” Elisabeth Elliot
Joshua 10:1-27 tells the story of a mighty warrior being bullied by five kings. God clearly demonstrates his power and intolerance for people who attack his anointed. Particularly fascinating was how the whole thing ended. The kings had apparently figured out that they were bested. Instead of surrendering, they went and hid in a cave. Just like it happens with every cowardly bully on the block, someone had enough guts to stand up to them. Joshua showed up, strung them on a tree and then stuffed them back into the very cave they came from. The dynamics of spiritual bullying are evident. Here are some things to remember if you are being spiritually bullied:
- Do not be afraid. If you feel like you are under attack, remember that God has your back and He will fight for you. Do not be too timid to stand up for yourself. You have a right to be bold. In verse 24 Joshua commanded his army to put their feet on the necks of the kings. In other words, “these guys are literally under your feet so put them there!” Look what it says here in Luke 10:19 – “Remember that the Lord is fighting for you. You do not have to do or say anything.” When Joshua had heard that the kings hid themselves in a cave, he did not waste any time. He had his army roll a large stone in front of it so that the attackers could not escape. It is a clear message to be bold, leave the situation in God’s hands (roll that stone in front of your cave and wait) and commit to following him no matter what assails you.
- If you know someone who is practicing aggressive behavior toward a brother or sister in Christ, here is some advice to pass on: It is not wise to attack a child of God. Like a very protective parent, God takes threats and bullying very seriously. He will make it abundantly clear which side he is on. Hiding from him is also a bad idea. Not only will the attacker be found, evidence suggests that the outcome is not a good one. God will find a way to close the entrance to the cave and there will be no escape. At the very least, the bully will find himself in the same spot he was in when he started. God protects his children, he fights for them, and he does win in his time. Be bold, be strong, and believe that he has your back. You are never alone.