This page is for meditations inspired by communion with God.
Bully Culture and the Flood
I have never understood bullies. From the time that I was a child I have encountered people who seemingly have no conscience and seem to take a perverse pleasure in tormenting and wounding others. Everybody gets angry every now and then and we have all done things that have caused harm either emotionally or otherwise to another. The more sane rational people in society feel appropriately remorseful when that happens. But there seems to be a growing number of people in American society who respond to situations with a grossly disproportionate amount of hostility accompanied with acting out behaviors, yelling and abusive language. Often these people are absolutely unprovoked, as if looking for an excuse to exchange fire with someone. From my point of view their behavior is irrational and non productive. There are also those who seem to desire revenge for the prettiest of offenses. For example they were bumped by accident and so their response is to give the offending party a bloody nose or publicly humiliate them. Sometimes however, one of these bully personalities will do something absolutely mean and unprovoked and respond with a smirk or an evil laugh when the other party reacts with appropriate shock. They enjoy hurting people.
I am a bill collector, and I am kind to people. I have also been a soldier, case manager, pizza delivery person and waitress. In all of those capacities I have encountered the bully. They are truly amazing people. Unfortunately we have a culture that too frequently refuses to hold the bully accountable and even sometimes rewards them for childish temper tantrums.
People in professional positions all know the drill. They act up, you remain calm cool and collected. Try very hard not to do anything to further provoke them. They cannot be disciplined or held accountable in any way. If they demand that somebody be fired from their job for displaying the slightest bit of ire in response to their tantrum, well we may have to crucify the lamb. What the public thinks is most important.
On the other hand, I am a believer, and I cannot judge them. The appropriate response, though maybe not the most natural, is to have compassion for them. I have on a few occasions in my life behaved badly. I felt remorseful. Tried to improve and did. I corrected myself. There may be people who would have had a hard time forgiving me. I forgave myself eventually. You must never abandon yourself, and I didn’t. I spend time contemplating the crucified one. There are people who have offended me. But when I look at that one on the cross, I have to ponder; Is it possible for us to comprehend the magnitude of our offense against a holy God? The story of the flood comes to mind. “And YAHWEH saw that the evil of man was great on the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the day long. And YAHWEH sighed with sorrow that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved to His heart” (Genesis 6:5-6, HRB). Can we even begin to understand the pain in the heart of a loving God who made a decision to give the entire earth a bath to wash away all the evil? Okay, you have say five children and they never seem to listen to you, are full of maliciousness, deceit and perversity. You have tried to correct them but they spurn any rebuke. They are your children. Can you imagine making a decision to destroy them? I’m not a parent and I imagine some of you who are may have entertained the thought a time or two, but seriously. God was grieved in his heart that he had ever created mankind they were so evil. So he made a drastic decision. In the New Testament we find that God was hoping against hope that they would repent even while Noah was building the ark. “… in the days of Noah, when the long suffering of Elohim commanded an ark to be made, in hope of their repentance; and eight souls only entered into it, and were saved upon the water (1Perer 3:20 HRB). The event must have been horrific for Noah and his family. Can you imagine how they must have felt looking out the little window at the top of the ark seeing the desperation of so many drowning lives? “I can’t help you.” That is traumatizing, so much so that God was compelled to make them a promise. “I promise I will never do that again.” He signed the promise with a rainbow (Genesis 8, 9).
Today our world is full of people who are undoubtedly behaving as badly as those who were drowned in the flood. “But as the days of Noah, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man.For as they were in the days before the flood eating, and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah went into the ark. And they did not know until the flood came and took all away. So also will be the coming of the Son of Man” (Matt 24:37 – 39, HRB). “God takes no delight in the destruction of the wicked” (Ezekiel 33:11). There is coming a day again when God is going to cleanse this planet with a bath. This time it will be a blood bath. He gave mankind, this time, not several years, but several thousand years to repent. He sent his own son to the cross to pay the price for our offence against him. God is a God of justice, and justice was served at the cross. God is not concerned about what the public thinks, however. His innocent son was crucified by the guilty. He isn’t concerned about loosing business or satisfying the voters. He is not tolerant. He has no fear of attorneys or lawsuits, and the Attorney General trembles in his presence. There will be no bullies in God’s kingdom.
Those who enter his kingdom will be those who faced themselves honestly. They were the ones who cried for mercy, who knew there was no hope without forgiveness. They are the ones who were forgiven much and they knew it. They therefore loved much.
Now I am facing the bully with Jesus on my mind. There are tears in my eyes, because he loves the bully and I can feel it. That is one of his children who he will someday be forced to banish from his presence forever unless somehow a pin prick of light can penetrate that darkness. “God takes no delight in the destruction of the wicked”. My prayer is, “God help me please to get past my natural human resistance to bully badness so I can carry the cross you bore for this soul”.
For God so loved the World that he gave his only begotten so so that whoever would believe in him would not perish but have everlasting life.