There have been numerous stories about bullying discussed on the news whether victims have been tortured in school, on social media, in neighborhoods, or at work. The effects of these incidents torture victims a long time after the devastating bullying has occurred. If you’ve experienced any type of abuse, you’re probably still recovering from emotional pain you wish others could see so they can help you. Despite your frustration, your existence is indicative of your ability to push through mental and emotional pain.
You may be thinking that I don’t know how much pain you’re in, or how bad the memories hurt. Well, I may not know exactly your level of pain, but I have experienced situations that have caused mental anguish and emotional distress because of betrayal or misuse of my kindness. I have often wondered if being kind is the right thing to do especially when those you have been kind and loyal to take advantage of you. Sometimes it seems sowing good seeds requires more of your supply than reaping the good especially when opportunists infiltrate so many segments of society. However, the positive side about sowing good deeds is the peace of mind you have knowing you have done your best regardless of the results you experience.
On the other hand, I would like to ask if you have not experienced the wounds inflicted by a terrorist, are you a terrorist? I don’t mean in terms of destroying property and killing people physically, but I’m referring to emotional, spiritual, and mental terrorism. If you’re not sure, ask yourself these questions, and if you answer yes to at least one question, I want to challenge your thinking in terms of understanding and caring about the pain you have caused others:
- Do you talk to people in a condescending tone, answer people abruptly, or yell at others while demanding respect without caring how they feel?
- Do you scheme and undermine the efforts of others to obtain higher positions so that people can esteem you?
- Do you cheat others in business matters such as in landlord/tenant, lawyer/client, employer/employee, realtor/seller, salesman/customer, or personal relationships?
- Do you withhold viable information from others that can help them excel in various areas of ther lives?
- Are you aware that others may despise you because of your taunting, tyrant, arrogant, and negligent behavior, but you don’t care as long as you’re able to get what you want?
- Do you intimidate others into agreeing with you to the point they don’t feel comfortable expressing their thoughts or opinions?
- Do you coerce people into making decisions they may not feel comfortable with particularly by not telling them your ulterior motive such as capitalizing off their misfortune?
- Do you take advantage of others because you know they will fulfill their end of an agreement despite your refusal to produce your part of the agreement in an excellent way?
- Do you demand praise from others when you have finally done something that required immediate attention despite previous warnings about your obligation to fix the situation?
- Do you distort the truth by telling half a story to make someone look bad in order to keep others thinking good about you without telling them what you did to cause a person to go through what they’re experiencing?
- Have you done something to someone that has caused significant financial, emotional, spiritual, mental, or reputation damage and watched the person struggle to regain their previous status, and you don’t care how they survive?
- Do you spread rumors and lies about people regardless of the pain it causes?
- Do you quickly seize opportunities to bring up someone’s past to them and others in a self-righteous way while forgetting your own sin particularly if your sin, mistakes, or failures are not visible?
- Do you build your wealth by swindling others, boast about your wealth, and flaunt expensive possessions as if you acquired the assets legitimately while making others feel insecure about not being able to afford what you‘ve bought?
- Do you become angry when others end relationships with you, refuse to acknowledge what you’ve done to destroy the relationship, and tarnish their reputation by spreading rumors and lies?
- Have you stolen something from someone whether it’s money, an asset, or a relationship and kept it without failing to apologize or give back what you have taken because your desire to possess it is more important to you than the pain you’ve caused someone?
- Are people afraid to ask you to do something for them because they know you don’t want to, or you refuse to make time for them because you feel that your plans are more important?
- Do you perform good deeds to gain accolades and hope to acquire financial or position rewards without caring that others know your actions are fake?
- When someone tries to stand up for their self against you, do you quickly bring up minor things to them and others you want to impress about what you have done for them without discussing the major trouble you have caused them?
- Do you command attention when you walk into a room?
- Does the atmosphere, topic of discussion, and session activities have to go the way you desire because you want to occupy the seat of attention?
- Do you use your position of authority to get want you want through manipulation, coercion, or threats?
- Do you feel that you are the only person entitled to blessings while others suffer because they weren’t born into a family like yours or haven’t achieved the level of success you have according to societal ideals?
- Do you require and expect others to go out of the way to show up to your events, lend a comforting ear when you’re down or sick, or meet some other need, but you’re missing in action or slow to respond when they call to tell you they’re sick, need someone to talk to, or have an event they would like you to attend?
- Are you so consumed with highlighting the failures of others that you refuse to acknowledge that your self righteous attitude appears worse than the sin that you point out in others?
- Do you obstruct justice when you know something that can help someone legally because you don’t want them to be blessed or acquire the closure they need to move forward in their life?
- Do people talk to you in confidence, but you tell everyone you know about their personal business without their permission because you want to feel good about yourself?
- Do you run with every bit of information you hear about someone without finding out the facts so you can feel better about yourself particularly if their challenges seem worse than yours?
- Do you embarrass others in public hoping they will be condemned while you are praised?
- Do you always have something negative to say about others, and what they’re doing while wanting others to praise everything you say and do?
- Do you do good deeds for others with strings attached and keep a list of those deeds so that you can constantly remind them about how much they owe you, or how good of a person you are for doing those deeds?
- Do you discredit others and try to make it seem like they’re lying when they become courageous to tell the truth about you?
- Do you instigate trouble and hide your hand or steer clear of the chaos while watching others fight or argue while acting innocent?
- Do you play the victim role when someone confronts you about what you’ve done to them?
These questions have been asked to bring to light the issues that are quickly dismissed because of the demands to enable those who torture others with their character. These issues may not warrant an arrest because no violations have been committed legally, but the long term effects that the apathy of mental and emotional terrorism is nothing to be proud of. Your material assets may suggest success, but your character should speak louder particularly with a high level of authenticity and integrity.
An Unexpected Awakening
The Apostle Paul experienced an unexpected awakening on his way to Damascus. He was a Pharisee who prided himself in knowing the law, and he executed his authority in a malicious way to persecute Christians based on his ignorance about Jesus and the Kingdom of God. Paul was a highly educated man. He studied at one of the prominent Sanhedrin schools and was a fluent multilingual speaker. As a result, he was able to use his influence to accomplish his goals of persecuting Christians.
Fervant and zealous in his mission to defend his religious sect beliefs, Saul had to give an account about his tormenting ways to the Lord. A bright light altered his vision and prevented him from traveling further (Acts 9). After hearing his name called, Saul immediately responded by acknowledging the Lord. Left blind for several days, Saul had time to think about the pain he had caused others specifically the influence he had in the death of Stephen (Acts 7:58-60). After the Lord had mercy on him and restored his sight, he became converted to Christianity, became Paul, worked more zealously, and become sacrificial even unto death. This may have been due to the guilt he felt about his previous journey in life. Whether his motivation was based on guilt or his overwhelming love for the Lord, he strived to make the remaining part of his life a spiritually productive one.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
You may have spent many years terrorizing your family, friends, co-workers, and others with a bad attitude, ungrateful demeanor, or entitled behavior because you let pride consume your mind, but it’s not too late. Perhaps some relationships or people have died that you terrorized. On the other hand, you may have retaliated because you’ve been hurt by others, and you vowed that no one would hurt you again. As a result, you’ve become someone hated instead of someone who is sincerely admired.
Whichever path you have traveled, you have the opportunity to change your terrorist ways before you die, experience a physical tragedy, or cause others to hate they met you. You also don’t want to find yourself in a helpless state when you’re sick or old, and you don’t have anyone to depend on because everyone remembers how you treated them when you were strong and mighty. Then they may refuse to assist you because you refused to help them or be a loyal friend when they were experiencing challenges.
Romans 3:23 says … “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” This means you don’t have to fell overly condemned because everyone struggles with behavioral issues. As long as you acknowledge how your behavior has affected others in a negative way and remain committed to making changes, you have the opportunity to please God as well as regain respect from others.
Stay Blessed and keep striving to become better so that you can meet the Lord in peace, and hear him say, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the Lord (Matthew 25:23).