Set Apart to Serve God
08/06/21 – 08/22/21
By Michael Youssef, Ph D. 08/11/21
Almost everyone can remember at least one bully from school—especially if they shoved you on the playground, teased people relentlessly, or threatened and manipulated others. But bullies aren’t found only in the schoolyard. Bullies exist in our families, in our workplaces, and in our communities.
A bully is someone who desires to control and abuse others. Bullies seek power by making others feel powerless. They find enjoyment in criticizing and ridiculing others.
In the book of Daniel, we meet a king who was the epitome of a bullying leader. King Nebuchadnezzar ruled the Babylonian Empire when, as a young teen, Daniel and his friends were captured and sent to study at the king’s palace. In Daniel 2, we learn that King Nebuchadnezzar was so troubled by a dream that he planned to kill all his wise men—including Daniel and his friends—because they could not interpret it for him.
As Daniel and his three friends faced execution, they prayed together throughout the night and sought God’s divine intervention. Because God was on their side, Daniel was given the insight to interpret the dream. Daniel’s next action gives us wisdom for dealing with bullies.
Daniel first approached the matter carefully. He didn’t confront the king directly until he understood the situation better. Daniel 2:14 tells us, “When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact.” Daniel was not quick to fight back. He gathered information from Arioch and then approached the king: “At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him” (Daniel 2:16).
Prayer: God, I pray that when I have to deal with a bully in life, I will come to You for help and not be quick to fight back. Help me to always come to You for discernment. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).