Back in Biblical times there was a sacrificial animal called the “scapegoat”. When the Levite priests did ceremony to cleanse the people of sins, the sins were symbolically placed into the animal and then it was sent out into the wilderness. It ran off carrying the sins of the people with it.
In modern days, the scapegoat is a person who ends up taking the punishment for the wrongdoings or the sins of others. This hardly seems fair, but it happens all of the time, especially in families. One would think this would be the last place this would happen but it does, and usually behind closed doors. It also happens in places of business, in schools, and other places. I believe I have even watched this happen online as well.
Wherever people gather, there is a tendency to be someone around who has to press down others in order to feel better about themselves. The pressed down one is usually the lonely one who bears the pain that has been placed upon them. It’s a sad situation, and very heartbreaking.
If we were to look at humanity as one that we need to find balance within, this push and shove really does not make a lot of sense. There is only an illusion of one who gets to be the winner of the game and the one who is pressed down. Truthfully, in an unbalanced situation like this, neither of them win.
Fear, creates scapegoats. Someone begins to think or believe they are powerful and out of their fear that they are not, they need someone to press down to relieve that fear. The hard thing is nothing is ever truly relieved so the actions might keep going on. Usually the ones who are the most empathetic are the ones who end up being walked upon. They find themselves pushed down in the pecking order at their jobs. They have no voice because their own fear causes them to stop speaking up for themselves.
When Jesus went to the cross, He took upon Himself the punishment of everyone’s sin and then He left this world carrying our burdens. This grace is meant to release us from the sting of sin and death. We have no bondage in the eyes of God and there is none who is greater than the other.
Do you ever find yourself wishing that people would just see the value in themselves so they don’t feel the need to emotionally, physically, or mentally batter others to try to help them create the illusion they are greater? I pray for this revelation for people all of the time. Every time I hear a broken heart, feel one, or know of one, I know that somewhere out there is a person who is using that brokenness for their freedom. It really should not be so.
If we find ourselves being pressed down or taken advantage of, maybe it is time to create balance and speak the truth and walk away from those who would have them be their scapegoat. There is no one on earth that deserves to take a beating for someone else’s attempt at finding some form of power. Jesus took that beating and we are all free. We don’t need to have faith in the truth to make it true but it does help to have it. It’s still true none the less. It’s history.
I had to dig deep for this one because the idea of the scapegoat is more than someone being a bully over someone else. It is a condition where shame and deep feelings of inadequacy happen over periods of time. I’ve witnessed someone taking a beating for someone else. It’s almost just as painful to be the witness.
Tonight I have a deep sadness in my spirit as I think of those I have known who have been stuck taking the rap for others. They have been beaten down, locked up, emotionally broken, spiritually stricken and soulfully scarred. I can close my eyes and almost feel the painfulness of this type of condition.
If only, if only, there can be a balancing of humanity that makes this impossible to ever happen. It was meant to create the needed balance when Jesus died on the cross. We were meant to find ourselves in the bonds of oneness, in a holy union, sharing the power of the blood He shed on the cross for us all.
Can we ever find that place Jesus prayed for us to find? Can we balance the human scales in life and see one another as equal and not as someone we must be on top of, win over, press down, or beat at the race?
This blog post has a bit of a sadness to it. I apologize for that reality. I can’t help but close my eyes, though, and dream of what it would be like if everyone would just understand. We never make it anywhere without one another. Being on the top of others is only an illusion and eventually that prideful heart will have to fall. So, the beater never prospers and the one who presses down never really hits the top before they fall to the pit.
It’s the one’s who have taken the beating who will arise. It might not be today, or even tomorrow, but it will happen. When it does, their light will shine as brightly as the morning sunshine. At that moment they will realize it has all been an illusion for them as well and that God has always cupped His hands, holding them in place for the moment they understand just how beautiful they have always been.
Loving you from here
Dr. Jenine Marie Howry