We are Undercover Bullies

1 Corinthians 1:27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

God never used the top ten percent of the who’s who or those who got it all together.  Every weakness and shortcoming is a God glorify victory waiting to happen.  Our idea of what and who God uses are so different from God as the scriptures say.  We all believe that only the strong are worthy.  We spend a lot of time masking our weaknesses, even to the point of denying them.  We create controlled environments that are engineered to keep our shortcomings out of plain sight.  We are all just like the Wizard of Oz standing behind the curtain, praying no one will ever find out.  Our desire to be accepted, held in high regard, and seen in a particular light of human glory has allowed concern over our weaknesses to capture our hearts secretly.  Because of this, sin creeps in and the Devil has found a foothold.  It’s a foothold that he has very little work to do in order to exploit it.  Our naturally sinful hearts already line up with his agenda. Even though our weaknesses to us are our anti-identity, we still make it a part of our identity so we spend a life time trying to rewrite it.

Sin controls us by using the parts of us we hide from the world and those parts we think we can hide from God.  Sin also always seeks to compare you to something external that appears righteous or cause us to focus on what we don’t want our weaknesses to turn us into.  This causes an internal judgment as well as accusations and condemnations.  Sin may dwell in the heart and come from the heart but the solutions it gives will never be directed to the heart.  Sin will say either try harder or give up. Sin is nothing more than a zombie seeking life so it doesn’t want you to give up really. So sin begins to preach the gospel of ego and whatever things that will make us externally righteous; sin says you have the power to resurrect your false savior.  In the gospel of ego, sin mocks Jesus Christ calling his work powerless. Sin will even let us go to church but only after we clean ourselves up first so goodie two shoes Jesus will accept us.  The gospel of ego preached by sin, says Jesus can’t save you. Well not without our false god’s help.  Soon, sin tells us why do you even need Jesus? Look at the success your false god has given, plus you can control this god. Sin and our self hate simply turns us all into bullies without us ever really noticing.

Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively impose domination over others. The behavior is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception, by the bully or by others, of an imbalance of social or physical power. Behaviors used to assert such domination can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion, and such acts may be directed repeatedly towards particular targets. Justifications and rationalizations for such behavior sometimes include differences of class, race, religion, gender, sexuality, appearance, behavior, strength, size or ability.[2][3] If bullying is done by a group, it is called mobbing.[4] “Targets” of bullying are also sometimes referred to as “victims” of bullying.

In this false world of conquering our weaknesses and giving the appearance of righteousness that we achieve through moral actions or control of others; we neglect the why in it all.  We neglect the motive of it all.  Since we never think about our motivation, we never address it.  Actually, we have no reason to address it because we see nothing wrong with it as we have given our motivations pretty new words.  We have given them pretty words that project leadership, ambition, command, respect, power, control, self-sufficient, resilience, and all the other action words.  So when the Gospel is heard we are offended to hear that we have wasted a lifetime as God calls us weak and lost.  The idea that the things we do that are prideful, self-serving, and self-pleasing are seen as sin to God truly offends us.  Our hearts and Satan has corrupted our identities with a full scale war on weakness.  God already knows we are weak; the cross is proof of that. But we believe the lie that we aren’t anything, can’t be anything and will amount to nothing as long as our weaknesses and shortcomings are there.  Jesus says my grace is sufficient and I want the world to see that I will still get glory through you anyway.  Our attempts at trying to fix ourselves are all due to Satan and his human servants bringing accusations, condemnations, hostility, lies, discouragements and comparisons.  Our ignorance of who God says we are has to stop.  Our fears, guilt, false guilt, self-pity, imposed pity, doubts, disappointments and anxiety are getting in the way.  We just need to have faith that when Jesus said it was finished that it is just that, finished.  Our identity isn’t the sin we can’t conquer on our own or the failings, weaknesses and shortcomings we have but our identity is in Christ.   Are our weaknesses real? Yes, and are our shortcomings true? Yes, yet Jesus died anyway for us and has set us up with Him in heaven.  The problem is that those who point out blemishes, specks in our eyes, issues and the like; have been deceived by their master in to believing that they are without sin. These that I speak of are all of us, every last one of us.  There are no innocent bystanders, we are all guilt of the crime.  We are all scared prisoners in this world as we find someone weaker than us to beat on in front of the other inmates so we won’t be picked on.

Matt Chandler Sermon: Gospel-Centered Service

Philippians 2. Starting in verse 3, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Now, this runs against the grain of everything inside of us that is not of Christ. We, as our default mode of operating, have learned to spot the weaknesses of others to justify us being above them in the pecking order of service. Why do you think that you can so quickly spot the weaknesses of others? Sometimes those weaknesses are silly, and sometimes those weaknesses are legit, but almost all of us are connoisseurs of the weaknesses of others. It doesn’t take us long. We can do it pretty quickly. Some of us can do it at first glance. For some of us, it’s just a feeling like something’s not right about them. And then if you could ever say out loud what you’re thinking, you would realize what a fool you are. But because all that conversation is taking place in your head and your heart, you never see that nine times out of ten you’re comparing your strength to their weaknesses, sometimes in completely opposite categories. “I can’t believe that guy talks to his wife like that. I work long and hard at my office. You see, I work long and hard at my office so I can buy stuff for my wife and children, to provide for them and give them a happy life, but he speaks so aggressively to his wife that there is no way that’s good for their relationship.” So this is what we do. “Here’s what I do well. Here’s what you do poorly. See how much better I am than you? See why I shouldn’t have to serve you? See why I shouldn’t have to lower myself and help you? Because I’m so much better than you are.” And if we put the cards down on the table, if we put weakness next to weakness, you could easily see that there’s nothing but black sheep in this family. Some of us just prefer the fleece of self-righteousness. There isn’t anything but sinners in this place. To think differently is an unbelievable display of spiritual arrogance. 1 John says, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

Our entire existence on earth has been geared to establishing a personal kingdom where we set as god over all.  All of us have brought a holocaust against the image bearers of God in the name of creating a pure race of people just like us.  The impurities we see, the brokenness we despise, the dependency we see as disgraceful, the poverty in spirit, the sheer neediness and hopelessness disgust our very idea of being strong, responsible, independent, self-sufficient and powerful.  But the people that disgust us is in fact us.  We are willing to crush all the weak and use just enough to show our benevolence, humanity, compassion, tolerance and love.  But there is a heart and type of person God delights in being close to.  They are the children of God that have faith in the strength of their Savoir who was made weak and who was broken for his children.  When we try to exploit the weaknesses that God has built-in to be used for his glory, we act as Satan’s advocates.  When we allow the devil to get that foothold, sin attacks and we become mere bullies. If we are honest, we could careless if someone is acting in love towards us. What matters most is that others do what we want them to done for us. When I tell my kids to clean up, I really don’t care if they do it in love. All I want is for them to is obey me and I will in fact bully them into doing it. Of course using the word bully is very harsh but it is what is and it is not loving your neighbor as yourself. It is using others weaknesses and their insecurities about their weaknesses.

It is the broken who move God, it is the humble that touches His heart, it is the weak that He brings near. The broken and contrite heart has no other choice but to lay it down because they can no longer carry on.  They can no longer pick it up again.  They can no longer run the race under their own power.  They cannot get to Jesus unless they are carried by The Spirit and laid at the throne of Grace.  It is in out stretched arms we come empty and Jesus speaks; telling us to rise so we can go back out full giving God glory.  This is why it is so hurtful to God when we tear each other down because we are doing the work of the accuser.  We are bringing charge to God’s elect and just as Jesus told Saul that he was persecuting Jesus himself when Saul persecuting the church.  Regardless of what is hindering you, Jesus died for you and has made you worthy through grace by faith because of His shed blood on the cross to obtain a righteousness we couldn’t earn.  When we deserved death God gave us life.  Jesus didn’t die for the strong and the elite; not the popular kids, the who’s who, and those who have it all together.  It was the outcasts that came running to Jesus because they were spent.  They were all at the end of their ropes because they had been beaten on by others as they tried to make themselves feel better about their flaws.  The burdens of being perfect set by the bullies were too much to bear.  Jesus gave them rest and something better to run towards which is himself.  The sheer joy of knowing God and knowing of His absolute, complete and perfect love for us regardless of our weaknesses creates something in us.  It kills us and the Holy Spirit rises us up as a new creature that sees the weakness in others and says I have a Lord that can help you.  God’s love frees us and creates willing abolitionists.  Following a love like that doesn’t give you a lot of time to be a bully.  You kind of lose yourself to him and the less you think about yourself, them more slaves you want to set free.  Our thoughts of finding freedom by controlling are nailed to the cross.  It’s like wanting to follow your awesome dad to the store.  Dad gets up early to go to the store and you jump up because you want to just be with him.  Dad says, “Sure you can go”; but you are afraid he might leave so you run to the car still in your pajamas, slippers and sleep still in your eyes.  You could care less how others see you. You are with your Father and how he sees you mean more than the Kings of this fallen world.  Jesus’ love crushes bullies, we must stop watching ourselves, stop tracking our progress, stop parading before others because we will miss out on daddy.  Focus on Jesus and how we treat the weak will fall inline.  Think about it, has your dad ever said, “Hey don’t you know that kid? Go say hello” or “isn’t he in your class, ask him if he needs a ride”.  The true children of God are always urged to love others as themselves, while the world teaches tolerance which fails to seek out ways to love only to avoid. Jesus bring us all together under the cross because the bully and the victim are both looking for the same thing unconditional love and acceptance.

 1 John 4:10-11, 19-20 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

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  1. […] live by our rules so that we would feel free from the supreme rules.  Jesus freed us from being bullies because he disarmed us and all of the earthly governments as well as ultra religious authorities. […]

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  2. […] We are Undercover Bullies […]

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