Growing up as an extremely skinny, smallish and sometimes sickly looking child, was not an easy inferiority complex to deal with. Whenever anyone referred to the “broomstick”, “stockfish” and in advanced times “AIDS patient”, I knew who they were referring to. Some said such at my back. The ones that said it to my face did it often during exchange of words. But there was one special girl. Let us call her “Estella”. She was bigger than our mates. She was a tomboy. She could beat up boys. Her mouth was very sharp. Everyone feared her – how much more me.
My mother tried to help with my self-esteem. She called me “small but mighty” (knowing we could not deny the “small” part). It was from her mouth I first heard the word “charisma”. She said declared that I had charisma, and that anyone who gets to know me will like me.
When Estella had finished with those close to her size, I became her prey. She was impossible to deal with. She called me names. She shoved and pushed me. If I said any word back at her, she would hit me real hard. For me there was no point attempting to hit her back because I was no match for her. I had seen what she had done with others. I did not need to go home blue-black before I knew what she was capable of.
As I lay down one day on my bed, afraid of going to school the next day, I wondered how I could get back at Estella. Just before I drifted off to sleep, I remembered that I was “small but mighty”. I most likely had something she did not have. I was going to let her know about that the next day.
As usual, the next morning as I arrived, I was about to enter my class when Estella shoved me to a corner. “Stockfish,” she started, “I am going to break you this morning and have you for my snacks”.
I faced her boldly and said, “One day you will get tired of calling me stockfish. I am very intelligent, and that is something you do not have. Continue beating me. It is your mother who will beat you every time you fail because instead of reading your books, you spend time fighting people. And that is why nothing ever enters your head”. (Her mother was a teacher in school, and I can bet her poor grades were serious matter at home).
That did the trick, because that was the last time she touched me, insulted me or any other person in that school. By the time we got to secondary school, we had become friends.
In life, there is one I liken to “the bully”. He is none other than the devil. He is out to steal, kill and destroy. His schemes are centered on making you Doubt - question God’s Word and his goodness; making you feel Discouraged - if you look at your problems rather than at God; Deceives you that wrong things seem attractive so that you will want them more than the right things; makes you feel Defeated so that you will feel like a failure even before you try; make you Delay things, knowing that procrastination will prevent you from getting important things done. Have you ever found yourself in any of these situations?
As I think about the experience with Estella the bully, some things I learnt that can be applied when dealing with the enemy are:
1. Know who you are: - Though I was smallish, I knew I had something Estella did not have, which gave me an edge over her. When dealing with the enemy you need to understand that you are a child of God through faith in Christ Jesus [Galatians 3:26]. The DNA of God is in you.
2. Know that the enemy no longer has power or authority over you: - The authority that was originally given to man in the beginning, and was taken when man sinned, has been restored by what Jesus did on the cross. Jesus stripped the rulers and authorities of their power, and made a public spectacle of them as He celebrated His victory ... [Colossians 2:15, GWT].
3. Words have power to cause change: - When dealing with the enemy, the words that matter are the words of God. The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, is our offensive weapon [Ephesians 6:17b, Isaiah 49:2]. The word of God is powerful and effective at driving away the enemy and destroying his work.
While this is not an exhaustive list, simply understand the enemy has no power or authority over you. You can overcome him and his ways because of who you are in Christ Jesus.
By the way, though I am still slim, I have added some height and body parts *wink* that would make one think twice before calling me those names I used to be called before.