To lie is to deliver a false statement to another person which the speaking person knows is not the whole truth, intentionally.  So, what is truth?  It’s not what comes out of someone’s mouth per se, but rather what actually happened or what IS.  The first step to healing or recovery is being able to speak or acknowledge the TRUTH – that is to say, what happened or what is happening.  The Word tells us that Satan is the father of lies, so to be called a father of something means there are offspring.  Therefore, I don’t write this for those of the world, for they’re doing what’s in their nature to do.  I write this to those who profess – not confess – to know the I AM.  First John 2:4 says, “the person who says I know Him, but does not do what He commands, IS a liar and the truth is not in him.  So, even scripture identifies that truth is evidenced, established and proved by what IS, not the “what” that is said.

My daughter is quite perceptive for her age.  I’m often astonished during our conversations when I’m helping her decipher between what she heard versus what happened.  At six, her response generally starts out with “xyz said thus and so.”  I then begin to ask her to start with “what she knows for sure” and then assist her in walking through the steps to arrive at the heart of her question.  At some point in the process the light goes on and I can see she’s arriving to the destination of knowing what she can now say is truth.

Paul penned a letter to Timothy charging him to oppose false teachers.  But how could Timothy do so if he didn’t know what to look for?  From the books of Matthew, John, Acts, Corinthians, Galatians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy, Hebrews, James, I and II John, and Jude we are warned repeatedly about them and how to detect them.  They will come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inside they are greedy, predatory wolves.  Look at what they’re compared to – wolves — predatory in nature.  Why are they hard to detect?  Well, because they know how to fake humility and they are often gregarious and very studious in the Word.  A thief, a greedy person and one who uses power to obtain sex are all seizing something that does not rightfully belong to them.  Yet, many professed Christians are following them?  Many who pastor, teach and evangelize today were liars, thieves, greedy, adulterers, fornicators, pimps, womanizers, child molesters, drug users, abusers, etc., etc., etc. and yet years after their professed conversion show evidence of some of the same behavior – spiritual bullies – and love to often use the example of King David, while trampling upon God’s grace, to explain it away.  Romans 6:1-20 teaches that we are slaves to who we obey, whether it be of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness; we should be dead to sin and not slaves to carnal lusts.

Bullies often browbeat, harass, frighten, oppress, persecute and terrorize people.  Paul, in his unconverted nature, was a bully of bullies and good at it.  He went on crusades looking for Christians to terrorize and imprison.  In I Timothy 1:12-14 Paul confesses that he was a blasphemer, a persecutor and a violent man.  However, Paul states he was shown mercy because he acted in ignorance and unbelief.  A spiritual bully uses laws, teetotalism and theology to control people from questioning their authority.  Spiritual bullying is taking the truths of one’s religion, and using them to intimidate, hurt, and manipulate.  Spiritual bullies verbally assault with dogma, keeping people “in check” with threats of excommunication within the church or removal from a position.  In some cases, they might force you to choose sides as they use the tactic of placing friend against friend or a family member against another relative.  The most effective weapon by far of the spiritual bullies is fear.  They want people to be afraid and use ultimatums, manipulate others to agree with them, or threaten to expose the victims’ faults.  Often the spiritual bully in the church is a professing Christian and it is possible that he or she is a true believer who is living a life of disobedience walking in their former lifestyle.  Spiritual bullies are modern day Pharisees who use religion and God for their own self agendas.

It took the intervention of a sovereign God with his grace to rescue Paul from his spiritual bullying and made him to be the greatest edifier of the church in all history.  Something happened to Paul – he was converted on the road to Damascus and throughout scripture we read evidence of that conversion and learned what he suffered for Christ and the Kingdom’s sake.  Jesus was an expert at putting spiritual bullies in their place, read John 9.  Jesus exposed them for who they were, stubborn and spiritually blind, guilty of sin and judgment.  It is bad to be ignorant, but that’s a state easily changed by the gaining of knowledge.  Paul came into the knowledge of Christ on that road.  Today, spiritual bullies tend to be those in positions of leadership and while they can be dealt with, typically they aren’t.  Why?  Often because they’ve gotten those they “bestowed” leadership positions or titles to, to do their bidding.  Let’s consider the charge given to Timothy to guard against partiality and to be careful  to not participate in the sins of others . . . working to keep himself pure.  (I Timothy 5:22)

This above all:  to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”  Shakespeare

Here’s a tip:  Those who cannot admit truth to themselves lack the ability to tell the truth to anyone else.

© September 11, 2013
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