It's interesting to note how Jesus treated the people to whom He ministered.
He was always gracious, loving and merciful to the broken . . .
And tough as nails to the bullys.
Too often Jesus is pictured as a soft, effeminate leader who spoke quietly and moved about gingerly.
In reality the New Testament portrays Christ as a strong man who took a whip and singlehandly removed the money changers from the Temple courtyard. He never hesitated to take on the Pharisees of His day, and often placed his life in danger seeking to correct what had become religious bigotry and idolatry among the Jews.
The more remarkable aspect of Christ is that this tough, strong, powerful, and charismatic God/man could display such gentleness to the blind beggar, the woman at the well, the lepers and others of His day.
Why the difference in His treatment of people?
I propose Jesus was always soft and gentle to the broken and tough as nails to arrogant bullys who took advantage of their postion to intimidate people.
I recently came across an interesting site that talked about how a person should deal with bullys. The author states:
Bullying occurs in relationships where the balance of power is believed by both parties to be lopsided. When power is equally distributed bullying doesn't occur.
It is fear that keeps people stuck in untenable situations. Bullies act to intimidate. They nurture their advantage by undermining the confidence of the victim.
Often victims tell themselves that there are no acceptable alternatives available. They rule out obvious options while being unable to generate practical alternatives. Being the victim of a bully is an extremely damaging experience.
On the other hand, there are some fundamental truths operating that the victim can use to break the cycle of intimidation:
What we tolerate, we validate. If we allow ourselves to be bullied we are ultimately cooperating with our own abuse. It doesn't matter how much we seethe internally or complain to others, if we allow it to occur we are agreeing that the bullying is a part of this relationship.
More of the same leads to more of the same.Bullying will not end because the bully wakes up one day and decides to turn over a new leaf. Unless you act to break the pattern it will continue.
Bullies don't bully everyone . Bullys will only respect and understand strength and power, and cease their bullying when they know it has no effect.
Today I had interaction with a pastor in need of grace and mercy. Circumstances in his life are leading to a breaking.
Though his moral failure is all over the news in our state, he will only receive from me graciousness, mercy and forgiveness in the midst of his brokenness.
On the other hand, there may be some brethren who, if shown grace and mercy, will only enable them to continue bullying tactics.
The One who showed us both sides of His character should guide us in our understanding of when to use grace and compassion and when to stand with strength and power.
May He give us such wisdom.
In His Grace,