When the Big Bad Bully Messes With You and Yours

Sharon JaynesConfidence in Christ, Renewing your mind with the Truth, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For 47 Comments

Being from North Carolina, I love the old black-and-white episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. (And no, we don’t all talk like that.) In one episode, the neighborhood bully is picking on Andy’s boy, Opie. This blond-headed newcomer taunts and makes fun of Opie until he feels like a total loser.

Opie’s ashamed of his own cowardice and embarrassed in front of his friends. After Andy, the wise father, figures out what is disturbing his moping son, he gives him a little lesson on standing up to bullies. The next day, when the bully threatens Opie, the little freckle-faced boy looks his opponent in the eye and refuses to crumble under his threats.

“Do you want to fight?” the bully taunts.

Opie doesn’t say a word. He just puts up his fists.

“Oh yeah? Well, knock this rock off my shoulder and I’ll—”

Opie knocks the rock off his shoulder before the bully has time to finish his sentence.

“Oh yeah? Well, step into this circle,” the bully continues as he draws a circle around himself in the dirt.

Opie steps into the circle.

Suddenly, the bully grows nervous. “You better be glad I’ve got on my good pants,” the bully says as he backs away.

Opie never had to throw the first punch. All he did was stand his ground and the bully backed away. Bullies don’t like it when we stand our ground. Never have. Never will.

Notice how many times Paul admonishes us to stand in Ephesians 6:13-14. “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then…” No one can stand for us. We must stand on our own two feet and stand up against the Enemy—and we stand on the Word of Truth to do it.

In his book The Reason for God, Timothy Keller said this:

“If anything threatens your identity, you will not just be anxious but paralyzed with fear. If you lose your identity through the failings of someone else, you will not just be resentful but locked into bitterness. If you lose it through your own failings, you will hate or despise yourself as a failure as long as you live. Only if your identity is built on God and his love…can you have a self that can endure anything, face anything.”

We need to take our stand when the big bad bully tells us that we are no good losers who can’t do anything right, who will never change, who will always struggle with doubt, or who will never be free. He’s just messing with you. Don’t let him.

Paul said, “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).

Maybe you’ve been running from the bully for way too long. Go ahead and take your stand. He’ll probably slink away because he has his good pants on.

If you’re ready to stand firm in Christ and not cave into the bully’s threats, leave a comment and say, “I’m taking my stand!”

(Click here to watch a clip of Opie and the bully.)

Do you ever feel that you’re not good enough, smart enough, or just not enough, period? If so, it’s time to silence the lies that steal your confidence and awaken the truth that you’re amazingly created and equipped by God. Today’s devotion was adapted from my new book being released April 3, 2018, Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence. It is an expanded and revised version of the book, I’m Not Good Enough, with 50-percent new material. If you pre-order before April 3, you’ll receive a passel of free goodies including 3 FREE e-books: Your Scars are Beautiful to God, Listening to God Day-by-Day, and 5 Dreams of Every Woman. Click here for more details.


Congratulations to Alicia Buratti! The winner of Make Your Move by Lynn Cowell!


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Comments 47

  1. “I’m taking my stand!” It is so difficult. At work is all the time trying me. I’m taking my stand, but I have been for so long that I don’t know how much longer I can resist.

  2. I’m at the tail end of a study of 1 Peter with a wonderful group of ladies. Peter also exhorts us to ACTION at the beginning, end and throughout the middle as he writes to believers living in persecution. The focus of the action is God’s grace, and in every situation to respond in a way that is pleasing to Him, with Christ as our example. In 1:13 he calls us to “Prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Then he wraps up his letter with a call for believers stand firm 5:12b “…I have written you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it!” Peter warns in 5:8 that “Your adversary, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” The way to combat him is in 5:9 “But resist him, firm in your faith…” I’m so in awe of how timeless God’s Word is! Where would I be without this instruction book for life?!?!?

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  3. I rarely leave comments on devotionals. In all honesty, I receive so many that they usually end up deleted before I even read them (I’m more of a book-devotional girl myself, truth be told). Today I had to respond to this, because the timing of it and the way I was forced to read it were uncanny and could only be God-inspired.

    I’ve been in therapy for the past year trying to figure out why I am now 55 years old and constantly hit a brick wall every time I try to go forward in basically ANYTHING. The past month we made a major breakthrough, and God was instrumental in ensuring that happened. However, what I realized is that the way I responded to negative experiences in my past has dictated how I respond to things in the present.

    One of those things is a constant bullying from certain in-laws who do not know the Lord (of course, I’m trying to condense a 20-year history into a few sentences, but they have a type of arrogance and self-love and righteousness that is astounding and do not say they’re sorry–ever. They can be three hours late to a wedding or four hours late to a BBQ and absolutely will NOT apologize or accept accountability, but will blame everyone else. We’re talking THAT kind of self-love).

    I have been bullied and blamed by this family for so long that I have allowed it to affect my own family, relationships, and marriage. My mode of dealing with these hurts and hurts of the past has been to minimize the experiences and normalize them as quickly as possible–to the expense of my self-confidence and self-worth. My husband is nothing like his family, but of course he loves them. I’ve always wanted to do the “right thing” by my husband, because then he wouldn’t leave like my first husband did (unfortunately, this is part of my “wrong thinking” patterns).

    This morning, as I was laying in bed silently reviewing our current family situation, I decided “No more.” I knew I had to have “the talk” with my husband about what his family has been doing to me and even my adult children (we are a Brady Bunch family).

    I got up, made a cup of tea, grabbed my phone and opened up my email to see a Zillow update, which I immediately clicked on. As I mentioned, I usually ignore the devotionals and hadn’t even seen this. But God would have it differently, of course. When I deleted the Zillow email, this email IMMEDIATELY opened up. WOW. I couldn’t even believe what I was reading. I’ve had too many “coincidences” like this, SO many, that I know it is nothing else but the power of God giving me confidence to go forth and do what I need to do today. Giving me confidence to set myself free from those who prefer to keep me in their controlling chains so I can continue to be their scapegoat and whipping boy when things go wrong and they refuse to blame themselves or accept accountability. NO. MORE.

    So that is why I’m writing this comment. I just needed you to know that God spoke through you on this day and it was His precise and perfect timing for me. I wanted to encourage you so that you know that even if there are those like me, who skip the email devotionals most days of the year, God will make sure we see that ONE He wanted us to see that only you could have written.

    Thank you for being His beautiful vessel today.

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      Well, girl, you just made my day. Writing is a lonely life. And then a comment comes across the screen and I feel like I’ve been hugged. Thank you so much for sharing! God is so good to give us what we need when we need it. I’m so glad you clicked on the screen today.

  4. I am taking my stand! Thanks for this passage. Bullying is real and it not only affects young children but also adults. It devalues you and makes you feel unappreciated. A bully is someone who lacks something in their life so they cover up by trying to make someone else’s life miserable. Bullying is evident on jobs, in schools, in communities and even in families. I pray for protection over me and my loved ones everyday that the enemy is block by God’s protection. People are something now a days. Many seem to not have a heart. Many are weak minded and allow the enemy to use them in ways that are not their original makeup. Its sad that someone’s agenda for the day is to make life sad for someone else instead of looking forward to praying for someone and uplifting them. God is needed more than ever in these days in time and I pray that He show up and present His power and take back His creations!

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  5. I’M TAKING A STAND!!! My family (through my daughter in law) is being attacked and I am interceding on her behalf. She needs earnest prayer for a spiritual warfare that is going on in her life. She has attacked her husbands family and members of her family verbally and physically. I will not be bullied and neither will my daughter in law and son.

    Thank you for your prayers.

  6. I recall an episode where there was a punch in the nose. I think Andy made up a boy he had to fight for a fishing spot, to help Opie overcome the fear of fighting a boy. He closes his eyes and says “Paw, I hope you were telling me the truth/ ” That is sort of how we feel about God isn’t it? The devils punches don’t stand up to His Word. These days bullies are going to school with guns, it is time to stand up for ourselves, it’s not just milk money he’s after.( Oh, I’m from Ga. and sometimes we do talk like that, we beat everything don’t we? Or too many reruns, not enough good shows. )

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  7. I’m taking my stand!
    The “bully” I fight is Satan! I read your devotional on the Proverbs 31 site about not feeling like you measure up. I’ve dealt with these feelings a lot lately. As I’ve tried to dial down to figure out where it’s all rooted, it could have started before I was even 2 when my biological dad divorced my mom and chose to not have anything to do with us…ever again. Or it could be from my own divorce that was caused when he refused to give up alcohol and drugs. Or was it the small, subtle things I found out when my mom passed away in October. The reality is, God has blessed me beyond anything I could ever comprehend or ask for! He sent me an earthly father who accepted me as his own and raised me in a Christian home. He has given me 3 boys who love me and would do anything for me. He’s given me a job (the only one I’ve ever had) that I love and I’m good at it and will celebrate 39 years in September. No, it isn’t my worth in question. It’s the lies that Satan tells us. He knows our vulnerabilities. He knows that a comment someone might make, a post we might read on Facebook or even someone NOT saying something to us that we would like to hear is just what it would take to put those doubts in our minds. So, I DO take my stand! And I WILL tell Satan every day that he doesn’t define me and he won’t steal my joy!
    Thank you for your writings! They are touching lives and making a difference!

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