Just recently I read another bloggers article about bullying. It is one of a few I have happened to see as of late. Clearly there is a theme going on lately. I’m not sure why this is but some women seem to believe it is powerful to overpower another woman and make them seem “less than”. Before you write this off as complaining, negative, or even petty, consider the people who have taken their own lives because of others unfeeling acts toward them. I wish I could take the time to look up the statistics for you but I don’t want to make this longer than it should be. Please do an online search on the subject if this peaks your interest.
I know what it feels like to be treated disrespectfully by other girls/women. I’ve had the experience in grammar school, middle school, high school, in the work place, and in the ministry. For a long time I thought something was wrong with me. It took me awhile to come to the conclusion that it was not me who was the one who had something wrong with them. I’ve seen every tactic in the book. There is the “obvious backstab” when someone makes sure they are in a place you can hear or see them and then they will lean over and whisper into someone’s ear while looking right at you. Then with some planting of a few rumors it doubles the affect for sure. There is the obvious bully who will exert their aggression upon someone else in order to intimidate them into giving some sort of power over to the evil of another. Fear is a huge controller. If someone can get you into fear then they have a huge grip on your life. (Please pray against the spirit of fear. You have control of this in Christ Jesus!) We have what I call “the sympathizer” who will go to the person you love the most and try to gain their affections while trying to make you look like a total fool. This one is a sly one because they get you upset at what they do and then tell your loved one, “See, obviously she is out of control, emotionally unstable, ridiculously wrong, or completely petty”. There are more tactics but I think you get the point.
I think one of the more devastating ones for me was when a so called “friend” began to offer prayer requests concerning me in a church prayer group. By the time I heard about them it was out of control, filled with a lot of partial truths, and out right lies. I walked out when I heard it preached over the pulpit. It took me a long time to get over that one. Please don’t take this as being judgmental or as trying to make others look bad. Someone has to talk about the hard stuff. I’m not trying to foster negativity. I’m trying to be educational, empowering, and hopefully a voice for some good change. Sometimes positive change happens when a tough stand is taken. We need those who are willing to open up the can of worms, and risk exposure of their stuff. Sometimes we can save someone a lot of heartache and sometimes we might even save their life. Since lives are important, then why not open the can of worms and sift through the soil?
When I was having a situation ongoing in grammar school I confided in my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Hart. (Yes her name was Hart!) I was so distraught about what was going on. I was not sleeping well, was always upset, and was too shy to handle it myself. She looked at me and told me, “Don’t ever put up with something like that. Please come and tell me and I will take care of it”. Then she advised me to not be around that person and group she was playing with. Dang, I loved that woman! “Thank you Mrs. Hart”.
I wish I had the ability to handle it myself but at the time I did not. Mrs. Hart was my go-to person when I needed defense. We need that in our lives! Women, hear me. Please empower one another!
Whatever you do, don’t succumb to being a doormat by allowing others to walk all over you. Please speak your truth. If you can’t do this in a safe way, then find someone who will stand with you, or even many who will. If you see someone being treated unfairly ask first if they need help before stepping in. Not every situation is safe to intervene. Ask God for wisdom as to how to handle things. While you are mulling these things over, don’t ever feel bad for expressing yourself when something or someone is bothering you. It takes courage to swim against difficult waters. Don’t allow the water to overtake you. There are more people who care than you think!
(A huge thank you to those who have recently brought up this subject again. I love your voices and we all deserve to be heard!)
If you are being bullied or messed with by someone. Let me pray for you here:
Dear Lord, I ask for Your divine protection for my sister in need. Please comfort her, and show her how much she is loved. Send her those she can count on, confide in, and will give strength to her. Empower her with Your Holy Spirit and give her the wisdom and courage to handle the situation she finds herself in. Thank You Jesus for loving my sister, Your daughter, and created treasure.
Dear God, I proclaim the name and heart of our Lord Jesus Christ to cast out spirits of fear and intimidation. Dear Jesus, rise up and set a standard for Your people and bring change to the hearts of those who do evil to others. Thank You for loving us! Amen.
Pastor Jenine Marie Howry
“Doormat no more”