Intimidation only works if you believe what’s being said about you.
Recently I received some intimidating news that had me fearful and I wanted to have a knee-jerk reaction and defend myself. The problem with defending yourself in a situation is that you cancel out what God may want to do on your behalf. We’ve always been taught that if someone is bullying you to defend yourself. I do believe this for sure in a physical sense. What about if someone is trying to intimidate you through control and manipulation? Almost like a spiritual intimidation. What then? Do you go on a rampage? Do you start calling everyone you know? What do you do?
Intimidation only works if you actually believe the bully. If you know who you are then you have nothing to be anxious about.
The enemy has used this tactic for centuries to bring fear into the lives of God’s people. Intimidation is a fear tactic. God is not the author of fear but of love. God is love (1 John 4:8) and perfect love, which is God, drives out all fear (1 John 4:18). Intimidation is nothing more than a weak, anemic attack that would try and shake you at the core of your foundation. It tries and shake your belief in God and yourself. So how do we overcome it? Here are three ways that I’ve found to overcome intimidation.
1. Know the facts.
Reaching out to people who can’t defend you or solve your problem doesn’t help, they usually only add to the peanut gallery of people who have no clue of what they’re talking about. I sat down and wrote out all the facts of the situation at hand, not my opinion or perception but facts. After doing that and having the FACTS stare back at me in black and white, I felt a sense of peace overwhelm me. When you have the truth of a situation stare back at you it provides calm. People can try to bully you all they want through lies and gossip but when you know the facts then it becomes a situation that you now have control in.
2. Don’t respond.
I know, I know… but they said this and they did this and blah, blah, blah. Trust me, I know. I want to respond and react so badly but doing that will only cause the enemy satisfaction and you become just as low as the bully. Remember you aren’t accountable to everybody (read this!). And you certainly aren’t accountable to the one who is trying to intimidate you. When you do not respond it allows God to be your avenger and defender. It makes room for Him to work on your behalf. I know they hurt you, I know they betrayed you, I know they are trying to destroy you…. guess what? It’s just more fuel for God to work with.
3. Trust in God.
This might be the hardest part. God usually is working behind the scenes in ways we never get to see. This is the faith journey we are on because faith works in an unseen arena. Let go and let God. Yes I sure did use an overly used one-liner but it still rings true today. God created the heavens and the earth, He put the seas in their place, He created you in your mother’s womb! He can certainly work out this situation for your good and His glory! Remember everything you go through will work to your advantage if you are not the bully and you are trusting in Him (Romans 8:28).