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Pitying the Bullied

English – Dutch

“As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse without cause shall not come. A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back” (Proverbs 26:2-3 MKJV).

It is said that bullies are to be pitied. Rarely do we see them pitied but almost always do we see their victims pitied. Let it be known that neither is to be pitied. I have never seen pity build or restore. I have never seen pity heal or reverse damages. There is a better and a sure way for all those who are willing to forsake the tempting pleasure of sympathy and trade it for reality and restitution to wholeness. Furthermore, the sad, even traumatic, experience of being bullied will turn out to be an asset, a gain, a discovered hidden treasure, guaranteed.

An important, life giving lesson I have learned is that whatever we suffer or whatever comes our way we either need or deserve or both. Therefore, we ought not to resist it, contrary to popular thought.

They would have done me injustice by holding my hand, fostering self-pity.

I watched a news segment featuring a victim of bullying in school. The boy was crying and the reporter evoked pity for him. A minute or two later, I was surprised to learn that the bullying occurred years ago and that the boy’s bullies had publicly apologized to him as a result of a public social program to deal with the acts and attitudes of bullying (apparently this problem is widely acknowledged, with a significant effort to alleviate it). Still, there was the boy feeling sorry for himself, crying and soaking up any sympathy ready to be lavished on him. I say there is more suffering coming to him, guaranteed. “Deep calls unto deep.” The work was not complete.

I was often and extensively bullied when I was a child. As hard as it was, I do not recall that anybody pitied me, and I am so glad they did not do so, after the fact, as with the boy on the news; they would have done me grave injustice by holding my hand, fostering self-pity, adding sin to sin, theirs to that of the bully, dealing extensive, hard-to-reverse damage to my soul. As long as one is encouraged to see him or herself as an innocent, unjustified victim, one will never come to terms with his or her suffering.

As long as one cannot accept that there was a Divine purpose for the bullying, as unpleasant and ugly as it was, one will come to harbor self-pity, resentment, bitterness, and hatred. These in turn lead to disastrous results of many kinds – gross misjudgments, bizarre perceptions, inappropriate reactions, depression, revenge, and concomitant diseases induced by such attitudes.

God is not a pyromaniac; fires are lit only when there is that which needs to be burned, and He will not permit fire where it is not appropriate.

By pitying the bullied person, sympathizers only dig his hole deeper.

Why do behavior therapists and counselors of every stripe and color, including religious ministers, dispense the opposite kind of advice than what is needful to help people out of their quagmire of emotions and negative reactions to difficult circumstances? These counselors do not understand the right way, God’s way of forgiveness and of loving one’s enemies. They do not acknowledge His Lordship, His Sovereignty over all things, both good and evil; He engineers and dispenses each of these according to His perfect love, wisdom, and judgment. They do not comprehend the principles of not resisting evil and of accepting and yielding to circumstances in order to overcome them.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…. Since you have forgotten the Law of your God, I will also forget your sons, even I” (Hosea 4:6 MKJV).

By pitying the bullied person, sympathizers only dig his hole deeper. I am not saying that the bullied victim should be treated brusquely or as the guilty party, as rape victims have been known to be treated, as though they were to blame for the abuse. I am saying that teaching the right reaction is necessary. If there is any pitying to be done, let it be done in wisdom and positive productivity.

These false counselors, these sensationalists, who cultivate and perpetuate a victim mentality in impressionable minds, are people seeking their own glory at the cost of lives. They walk in the paths of the destroyer, the works of men:

“Concerning the works of men, by the Words of Your lips, I am kept from the paths of the destroyer” (Psalms 17:4 MKJV).

Yes, bullying is ugly; yes, it is painful; yes, it is an evil, and seems unfair and unjustified. But remember Joseph? He was also bullied. His own brothers wanted to kill him. But for Reuben and Judah’s intervention, they would have done it. They sold him to cruel strangers instead, and he was cut off from his home and family and carried away suddenly, without warning or preparation, to Egypt, where he spent 13 years as a slave and prisoner. There appeared to be no justification for such treatment. Yet here is what he had to say to his brothers about 22 years later:

“But as for you, you thought evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save a great many people alive. And now do not fear. I will nourish you and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spoke to their hearts” (Genesis 50:20-21 MKJV).

One of the greatest truths is the acceptance of one’s circumstances.

There was a Divine purpose accomplished in Joseph’s suffering, and a great reward held in store for the one who suffered patiently. By faith in God, Joseph overcame his trauma and the potential evil attitude within waiting in the shadows to devour him. He accepted his circumstances and thrived as a result.

One of the greatest and most emancipating truths is the acceptance of one’s circumstances, knowing that God is in full control and that when the work is done in the innermost parts of the subject, the Engineer will remove those circumstances. They will have served their purpose and their need will cease.

Let me point out here that I am speaking of bullying in retrospect, the kind of bullying about which one had no choice but to take it. There is a time and place to stand up to bullies – no doubt it is the only way to deal with the matter in some cases – but there are also times when nothing could have been done. I am talking about those occasions.

Those suffering wrong need to know that they also have the full potential to do wrong, and they have done it in various ways from time to time. God brings such judgments to try the subject and expose the evil that is there. They need to forgive if they expect to be forgiven. What does God say about those who continue in their self-pity and bitterness toward those who wronged them? Here it is:

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15 MKJV).

But these educated counselors with degrees know nothing of the true laws and principles of life, and so they keep their clients in irons and cages of death and misery, nurturing attitudes and perspectives that must eventually break out in tragic consequences.

For your life, steadfastly resist those who give you their shoulders to cry on.

Forgive your bullies, you victims! Better to see yourselves as perpetrators than as victims. There is no better way. And don’t think you are innocent or that what you have received at the hands of your enemies was not necessary. Thinking that way, you deny God, the Architect of your soul. Denying Him Who is Light, you remain in the shadows of darkness and death. It is your choice.

For your life, steadfastly resist those who give you their shoulders to cry on, those who hand you tissue and dry your pitiful tears. They are worse than bullies. Bullies give you what you need. These give you what you don’t need. If you think your bullies did you damage, wait and see (if you are foolish enough) what such counselors will do to you when you have believed and received their evil advice. You need to repent. By heeding ego-stroking advice, you are worse to yourself than the bullies you resent.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist evil. But whoever shall strike you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also” (Matthew 5:38-39 MKJV).

“Therefore if your enemy hungers, feed him. If he thirsts, give him drink. For in so doing you shall heap coals of fire on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:20-21 MKJV).

Victor Hafichuk

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