An intimidating bully can be stopped by standing firm

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I remember the day I stopped running.

I was 7 and the family next door had a pack of boys. To me, they were something like terrorists.

One of the brothers in particular, Danny, made it a daily mission to torment me. I vividly remember the day he was chasing me with a handful of burrs of sand he intended to throw on my exposed back.

I ran like crazy, of course. Like always. Until I quit.

At that point, something clicked in my soul. I remember thinking, “That’s enough. I don’t run one more step in front of this brute.

Stopping in my dusty Converse shoes, I turned to face my opponent. Whatever happens.

Sometimes we let bullies enter our thoughts and imaginations. We assume that we are not respected or “pushed” when we are just too sensitive.

But there are real tyrants, like Danny. Bullies with the skin who aim to hurt us, humiliate us and humiliate us. At such times, the theoretical “concept” of bullies becomes a painful and personal reality.

Right now, I am very concerned about the increase in intimidation tactics, oppressive policies and downright dangerous prejudice to Christian believers around the world, sometimes resulting in prison or death.

For them, persecution is not a vague or elusive concept. These are real people serving Jesus and his mission in places like Cuba, Egypt, India, Myanmar (Burma), Vietnam, and Pakistan.

There is a common reason that authoritarian forms of government have a problem with followers of Christ, regardless of their geographic location. It comes down to the confession of our faith:

Jesus is Lord, not Caesar.

When the state ascends to a throne, like a god, then the state becomes the highest authority in the life of the governed. And that requires unhealthy compliance and submission.

Aggression usually begins when totalitarian governments launch disinformation campaigns, filled with rumors, innuendos and implicit misconduct, against a particular group in society. As disinformation spills over to the local level, it takes on a life of its own and gathers momentum thanks to people who are naturally inclined to brutal and petty tactics towards others.

Persecution is not the only experience Christians have, but certainly Christians have endured persecution since Nero’s time. The disciples of Christ are distinguished as light and salt in the likeness of Jesus Christ.

If Christians were to simply “align” with the patterns and principles of non-Christians, there would be no problem. But there comes a time when we just can’t do it. And this clash of values ​​will not go away until Jesus returns for his Church.

How to react ?

In Matthew 5: 10-12, Jesus told us that we are blessed and that we should rejoice and be glad when we are persecuted for righteousness. The Greek word for “rejoice” contains the idea “to be well and prosper”, and the Greek word for “happy” means “to leap for joy”.

But there also comes a time when you have to draw a line.

Daniel was ordered to “stop praying” or he would be served to the lions. He never stopped praying. The apostles were ordered not to preach about Jesus and his good news. It didn’t work either. They turned the world upside down with the Good News.

If honoring Caesar and the ruling authorities means violating our conscience and disobeying God, then Christ’s followers must stand firm and resist. Whatever happens. We must follow the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

When I turned around and faced my childhood antagonist that day and told him that I was not going to run or be his victim anymore, he backed up.

The bullying hasn’t completely stopped, but the race has.

Reverend Micah Smith is President and Founder of Global Gateway Network globalgatewaynetwork.org with offices in Richland. Questions and comments should be directed to Editor-in-Chief Lucy Luginbill, Care of the Tri-City Herald Newsroom, 4253 W. 24th Avenue, Kennewick, WA 99338. Or by email at [email protected]

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