Every kid fears a bully and every neighborhood has one.
The one in my neighborhood was named Tom. He was two years older than me. Sometimes he would act as though he was my best friend. Other times he would act like my friend in order to lure me into a ‘bully-trap’.
There was another older kid on our street, perhaps five years older than me, whose family had a relationship with our family. His name was Bill. For me at ten, it would have been very cool to have had a close relationship with Bill, but every time our families got together, he had other things to do. So he was seldom around. He would pat me on the head as he walked out the door and say, “See you squirt.” That seemed to be the extent of our relationship.
One day as I was walking down our street toward our house, I heard a voice calling my name behind me. I turned to see Tom walking briskly after me. I stopped and waited, a little apprehensive since I never knew what to expect. I remember thinking, “I’m ten now. He probably won’t hurt me,”…fat chance.
“Wait up,” he said as though he had something important to tell me. When he was within a few feet of where I was standing, he pulled something out of his pocket, grabbed my arm and pointed it at me. Within seconds I knew its identity. The smell was telltale. He was squirting me with a perfume-filled squirt gun. I covered my head with my arms, screamed and tried to run away. But he used his superior size and strength to hold onto me and keep me from escaping.
At this particular time in my home town, and for a boy my age; being drenched by a perfume-filled squirt gun was the ultimate insult. There was nothing worse for a ten year old boy than to smell like a girl. Desperately, I kept my head down and my arms over my head. But the horrid smelling liquid just kept coming. It seemed he had three or four of the weapons in his pockets.
Then suddenly it stopped and he let go of my arm. My first reaction was to run away, still with my arms over my head and not look back—just get home. However, after my first few steps I heard someone else yelling. I stopped, turned and looked back, first from under my arms, and then standing straight up.
My neighbor Bill had Tom in the exact predicament I had been in. He was holding Tom by the arm and was dumping the perfume in Tom’s last squirt gun from the fill-hole directly onto the head of my attacker. I wiped the tears from my eyes as Bill shook the last drop of the odorous fluid all over Tom’s hair and face. Then he threw the plastic gun to the ground, smashed it with his heal, and released Tom’s arm. Tom walked away hanging his head in defeat, not looking back, and trying to shake the smell off of his arms and head.
And Bill called after him, “The next time you think you want to pick on Chris…you’re going to have to deal with me first.”
Then Bill turned to me and said, speaking loud enough for Tom to hear as he walked away, “You alright squirt? He won’t bother you again. Let me know if he does.” Then he walked toward his house and disappeared through the front door.
And he was right. That was the last time Tom bullied me.
We all have bullies. There are people, organizations, bosses, philosophies, governments, relatives and friends that push us around on a daily basis. We just never think of them as bullies. However, the biggest bully in our lives is the enemy of our souls. He oppresses us with his power, and does so with shameless regularity. He forces us do his bidding while we think we are doing our own. He makes us bow to his will and he mocks us as we do it.
He also speaks the lie to us that God is the real bully in our lives, and we believe that too. He tells us that God will oppress us with rules and restrictions, beat us down with condemnation and failure, and control us with His non-approval.
However the truth is, God is waiting for us to call on him to come and liberate us from the real bully. He wants to set us free from Satan and his lies.
“…for he (Satan) is a liar and the father if it.” John 8:44
“For you shall know the truth and the truth (Jesus) shall set you free.” John 8:32
Have you been bullied, lied to, controlled or oppressed? Want to be free?