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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The “All-Business” Bully

 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”

But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42 NLT).

Who are the bullies or “horns” that you fear? In what ways has God helped defeat and subdue them in your life? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1319).

The bullies I most fear are the “All-Business” Bullies. These are persons who would put down anyone who seeks to connect with people in other than a severely restrictive manner. I suppose a stereotypical snapshot of this is the stern surgeon who shuns any human contact whatever except through the blade of a knife. While no one wants an incompetent surgeon, it is a major error to assume that a friendly, empathetic, informative surgeon is incompetent while one completely devoid of human kindness and thoughtfulness is by fiat competent. Sometimes the “All-Business” Bully is also the disposition of those with a military background. Their military air is essentially a ploy to intimidate others and to assume unquestioned command themselves. Only they, their attitude suggests, are at all competent to zero in on the true importance and significance of the issue at hand while you, sadly, can never measure up to the task. It is necessary to nip this ploy in the bud. The “All-Business” Bully is in the generalized category of those who seek to intimidate by various strategies no matter how that intimidation may be cloaked.

God has helped me defeat and subdue such bullies primarily through presenting me with a different perspective. I see that effectiveness more often than not requires human communication on several levels. A wire cage of carefully selected “facts” often completely disregards broad realities essential to effectively addressing issues. It is difficult to ascertain justice while using monolithic vision, for example. I have learned that “All-Business” Bullies must be met with adamant strength and conviction. The air of command and intimidation must be squarely challenged by an inveterate sense of equality.

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