90 – Never Strongarm

Strongarming is bullying. But, when you have the strong arm, it doesn’t feel like it to you.

God makes it rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Even people who curse their Creator God get to keep breathing the very air they use to curse the God who maintain’s that air’s molecular cohesion—and God doesn’t insert electrical charges to zap them into not acting like brats.

God will eventually punish the dunce, at least if God cares about him. But, as the Sustainer of Creation, God allows all people to continue enjoying their most basic needs.

If employees or contracted help want to leave, let them. Don’t make their exit troublesome. If the child wants to run away from home, one of the best tactics is for mom to pack his backpack. “You’re going to need your toothbrush. Don’t forget the bug spray, there are a lot of mosquitoes at night.”

Even the former friend who now spites you may need a favor or an act of kindness. Hold the door for him at your “random encounter”—and the godly know, it wasn’t “random” at all. Don’t attach any strings or rub his nose in it and certainly don’t overdo it.

It’s mainly good, old fashioned chivalry to look after even those who spite you. Not everyone who fights you is your worthy enemy, so don’t treat them as such. In fact, if someone is a formidable opponent, you might melt him down to size with some chivalrous charity. It’s not about “loving enemies” so much as it is about being the grownup in the room.

The path to harassment begins with strings attached to so-called “favors”. In everything you do—everything—remind yourself that every gift is truly a gift. Never, never, never expect anything in return—and especially don’t ask for something in return! Never remind anyone of the favors you’ve given, except for those rare circumstances where a brat is out of hand in the mind of the nearby crowd.

God doesn’t berate us for being ingrates, unless we get lippy like Job did. Correct and rebuke someone who needs a reminder to be grateful. Short of that, be a sustainer.

Matthew 5:43-48