Believe it or not, they come in all colors, shapes and sizes, even genders and age groups. They’re pretty universal. And they’re getting quite a bit of well-deserved press these days.
Bullies, that is. We even had to watch a mandated presentation at work about bullying and related topics of abuse that can happen in (and out of) the school environment. After all, it is the responsibility of every adult to endeavor to make the school a safe place for the children.
Of course, one would think that concept was also universal, but alas…
In the real world, however, one of the things the “little guy” can do in an effort to feel some sense of control, (and confident he’s about to get beaten up anyway), is to insult and taunt the bully.
Personally, and as the school nurse, I don’t recommend this maneuver. It causes more harm than good, and tends to make more work for me in my office.
So as we press on with our more eloquent strategies to make life a safe place, I have to admit that many times life is not,…a safe place, I mean. Not really. But, I hasten to add, some of the worst culprits are the bad guys we allow on the inside of us.
And one of the biggest spiritual bullies skulking around is Guilt.
“Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation.”
We humans are quite adept at denial—of anything—including guilt. We rationalize, justify, minimize, but somehow we just can’t get the facts to stay neatly hidden. I actually read an inane article many years ago in a glossy mag encouraging women on how to not feel guilty “the next morning”. Something about making him a nice continental breakfast.
Yeah, that’ll take care of it. (Dunkin’ Donuts, anyone?)
That is not to say that guilt feelings and true moral guilt are not two totally different entities—in fact, they are. One can certainly “feel” guilty without having actually done anything wrong. Satan loves playing that head game. And one can be totally guilty and have no feelings of remorse whatsoever—citing anything from culturally ingrained ignorance to socio-pathology.
The disconnect between the two causes a multitude of problems and is certainly part of the bullying process within our souls. (And, I might add, most likely a huge driving force in the mental health industry…)
God’s plan is much, much better.
- Let the God of the Universe identify if true guilt exists. (James 1:5)
- Understand that true guilt is an offense against Him, first and foremost, (Luke 5:20) and forgiveness, therefore, begins with Him, first and foremost, a forgiveness which is only provided through a relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. (John 3:16)
- He then guides us through specific restitution in each situation with each person effected by our true moral guilt, as far as is possible on our part. (Matthew 5:23,24)
- When guilt feelings try to make themselves known, we are reminded of God’s truth. (1 John 1:9)
There’s no swinging back with this plan. The bully just kind of rolls his eyes and slinks away.
Proverbs 14: 9 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.