I would guess that almost everybody has been bullied at some time or other. People often associate bullying with school years but we know that people are also often bullied in the workplace. People who are bullied end up feeling humiliated, small, and unsafe and powerless. This state can lead to a state of hopelessness.
Last night the devotional* I read was based on Zephaniah 2:3,6-10 which includes, “Seek God’s right ways. Seek a quiet and disciplined life. Perhaps you’ll be hidden on the Day of God’s anger.” and “I’ve heard the crude taunts of Moab, the mockeries flung by Ammon, The cruel talk they’ve used to put down my people, their self-important strutting along Israel’s borders.” Peterson draws attention to the experience of being bullied and God’s promise to, “…sweep in and save Judah.” Moab and Ammon were bullying Israel.
It seems coincidental that this focus on dealing with bullying comes on the heels of two days of meetings on land and vulnerable people and four months of work with our LGBT students in combating bullying at our school. In all our work it seems what we come down to is that there really isn’t anything we can do to stop bullying. Every once in a while I find myself thinking that I have the anwer to solve some major issue in my life or the lives of my students or our church. As it turns out, of course, I may have some good ideas, but not THE answer.
When I catch myself thinking I have The Answer, I need to give my head a shake and place the problem before God knowing that whatever resolution there is going to be will come only through him. I don’t give up helping where I can but this can only really be done through prayer for God’s help, and by, as quoted from Zephaniah, “Seeking God’s right ways.”
*The Message//Remix:Solo by Eugene H. Peterson day 191