“Mankind shall supply all my needs, according to his riches for my glory” – A Bully’s Eye View of Philippians 4:19
They want your lunch money. They demand your homework help. They steal your time and energy to satisfy their craving for attention.
After all, why do it themselves if someone else can do it for them? However, behind their desire to control others (yes, they do want to control you), lies a deep-seated insecurity. They are afraid.
Afraid, you may ask? Afraid of what?
Well, everyone is afraid of something. Whether or not they admit it is another thing. Some people keep their fears bundled up inside. Others share freely the concerns that weigh upon their hearts. Still others are so afraid of not getting their needs met, they order others around, commanding them to supply whatever is lacking in their own lives.
They don’t care who they hurt as long as they get what they want. That’s why we call them bullies.
Bullies are mean, but that’s not their main problem. The main problem with bullies is that they expect man to do for them what only God can do.
“Mankind shall supply all my needs,” is their unspoken motto.
What bullies need most is to understand that man is not the source of their security. Only God is. They need to know the love of God and be willing to forgive the people in their lives who have hurt them.
Jesus told a parable one time about a man who owed a king a lot of money (see Matthew 18:23-35). He had no means by which to pay the king. Sounds a little like the prodigal son, doesn’t it? The man was living off of borrowed time. He obviously wasted whatever money, time, and grace the king had given him and had no means by which to repay him. It was a huge debt, and it affected the man’s entire family. His wife, his children, and everything he had were to be sold to pay the debt.
That speaks of bondage! The man’s sinful actions caused both him and his loved ones to lose their freedom. Can you imagine how that would feel? Oh, the guilt! Oh, the shame! Oh, the sweat, the toil, the pain! That’s what life is like without Christ, friends, for the one who sins is a slave to sin (John 8:34).
Bullies are slaves to sin. They try to control others because sin is controlling them. Until a bully repents for his bullying, he can’t really be free.
But back to the story. The prodigal man was a debtor, but he begged the king to forgive him. “Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.”
It was a huge, huge debt, but do you know what the king did? He forgave the man and freed him of his debt. That is a picture of what Jesus does for us when we turn from our sins and make Him Lord of our lives. He is the king who was bullied to the max to pay the debt of every one of us and give us peace with God.
We’ll never starve or be in want, because He supplies our needs according to His glorious riches.
We don’t have to bully anybody to get what we need.
But sadly, that is what the man in the story did. As soon as he was forgiven, he found a fellow servant who owed him a very small amount of money and demanded that the servant pay him every penny.
Here this wonderful king had just forgiven him a huge debt, but instead of showing mercy on his fellow servant, the prodigal man demanded that he “Pay up or else!”
This man was being a bully because he didn’t appreciate what the generous, merciful king had done for him. He didn’t trust the king to supply his needs, but became a bully.
He looked to man instead of God to meet his needs.