For the last few months the ladies Bible study group that I am part of has been examining hymns and popular Christian songs, discussing their Scriptural basis (or lack thereof) and the impact that music has on us both culturally and individually. This week one of the songs that we looked at was Family Force 5’s “Drama Queen.” The group isn’t one of my favorites, but in our bully-infested and manipulative environment, the message contained within “Drama Queen” is extremely important.
Listen, and then we’ll go on.
“You dish it out, I take it.”
We don’t know how to deal with bullies. When confronted with a manipulative person, fight or flight kicks in. We lash out or we knuckle under. Anything to get the person to stop. Sadly, neither reaction creates the necessary break in this crazy cycle. Bullies feed on our dramatic responses and they enjoy being able to use us.
We must be the ones to exit the cycle. The bully isn’t going to willingly give us a way out.
Nothing good comes from “taking” the abuse a bully dishes out. It isn’t Christ-like to be a doormat. Check the Gospels; Jesus told it like it was (and He still does). He loved people, but He had no problem at all calling them “snakes” and “hypocrites.” Now, I’m not telling you to go out and call people names. That will only add fuel to the fire, and we don’t have the kind of divine authority that Jesus does. We can, however, take Jesus’ example and use it in a beneficial way.
We can say stop. We can tell the bully that we are not going to put up with the way that they are treating us. We can tell someone in authority if necessary. We can point out if they are creating drama out of thin air and declare that we will not be part of it. This kind of strong response shows the bully that we cannot and will not be manipulated. We will not give them power in our lives. Above all, we will NOT continue to behave in such a way that shows the bully that we are willing to maintain the status quo.
On the flip side, if we have been the bully, we need to repent. God doesn’t give us a pass on how we treat people. We need to apologize to those we have hurt and do what we can to right the situation. We need to examine ourselves and look for the reasons why we choose to bully others, and, if necessary, get professional help in dealing with them.
This is not a hopeless situation we are in! The Lord is big enough, powerful enough and gracious enough to give us the courage to stop being bullied and to stop bullying others. He is ready and willing to give us the confidence that we need – a confidence that comes only from Him – to live comfortably within our own skins, recognizing that our value does not come from the opinions of others.
Bullying. Gossiping. Manipulating. Yelling. Hitting.
Don’t you know that’s whack?