Discouragement is a bully.

It comes at you on the playground when you’re running and laughing and enjoying life and delivers a sucker punch that brings you to a heap on the ground gasping for breath and crying silently.

Discouragement is a bully.

It interrupts the moments of contentedness and peace and just when you’re feeling on top of things and like the vision is actually a possibility, it throws a ball directly at your head and it knocks you to the ground and impairs your vision.

Discouragement is a bully.

It yells obscenities at you, tells you you’re ugly and not good enough and confirms your deepest fears. It preys on those fears and taunts you with them and convinces you it’s best just to quit — quit showing up , quit working hard, quit trying.

Discouragement is a bully, and I just realized it today.

When I was a child and in a heap of tears over bullying taunts and jabs, my parents would gather me up and pray for me. And then they would encourage me to pray too. Not just for myself, but for the bully. Not that the bully would receive vengeance, but to pray for love. For peace. That the bully’s heart would change.

All the things I didn’t want to pray, they told me to focus on.

Discouragement is a bully, but the hero is prayer. (<= tweet that)


The bully showed up unexpectedly yesterday, and picked on me nonstop. Suddenly, everything I saw and read and heard confirmed the bully’s lies. I locked myself in the bathroom more than twice to silently cry and was ready to give it all up — the dreams, the visions, the joy, all of it. The ball the bully threw knocked me out cold and I just couldn’t see anymore.

I believed his lies and I am ticked off today that I fell for it.

Because in my heart of hearts, here is what I know:

“He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.” (Matthew 10:30-31, The Message)

When the bully shows up and intimidates me, God gathers me up on his lap and prays that I would realize how the bully’s words mean nothing. He reassures me how much I’m truly worth and reminds me to use my shield of faith to deflect the piercing, untrue words.

“But he [God] didn’t let anyone push them around, he stood up for them against bully-kings: “Don’t you dare touch my anointed ones, don’t lay a hand on my prophets.’” (I Chronicles 16:20-22, The Message)

And when the bully shows up and intimidates me, God deals with it Himself so I don’t have to. When I’m a crushed heap under the weight of words that feel so real, He jumps in and stands up for me and takes the bully out.

And He reminds me to pray for peace. For love. For a heart change. Not for this bully, because he’s unchangeable to the core. But that I would pray it for myself…that I would accept the peace and love God has to give. And for my heart to change so I will stop believing each time discouragement shows up on my playground.

Yes, discouragement is a ruthless beast, bullying its way into every corner of my life that means anything. But my hero is prayer and the One to whom I pray.

My Daddy will always stick up for me.


9 thoughts on “Bullying

  1. Pingback: Five Minute Friday #36 – BELOVED | elevate ideas.
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  3. Loved this! And am actually working on a blog post right now about how sometimes we are our own worst bullies. Discouragement gets to all of us sometime but all I need to do to get encouraged is pick up God’s Word and remind myself that I am His and everything will be okay. It helps every time. :) Be blessed!

  4. If there were a “love” button instead of like… Sometimes, I feel like I’m the worst bully – of myself! I was touched by the message version of Matthew 10:30-31. Amen and Amen. Sit in our Daddy’s lap and soak up the Truth of your worth!

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