How to Fight a Bully

I will not fear the tens of thousands
drawn up against me on every side.
Arise, O LORD!
Deliver me, O my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
From the LORD comes deliverance.
Psalms 3: 6- 8

I remember this verse when I was still pastoring a church in Ormoc seven years ago. I was just a kid then, barely out of college and in many ways, clueless on how to go about the heavy responsibility that was placed on my shoulders. One of our neighbors threatened me because he didn’t like us doing praise and worship in church. I was terrified.

I turned to the men in the church to help me deal with the situation but I realized that as pastor, it was mainly my problem and I needed to deal with it myself. I remember going home that night feeling so small and powerless. I was just 22 for crying out loud!

The following day, I played Paul Wilbur’s song that exactly quoted this verse, turned up the volume of my stereo and cried my eyes out in a desperate prayer for strength. I could never forget the sense of relief and the faith of God arising in my heart that day. It gave me courage to confront the person, drag him to the barangay chairman for formal hearing and settled everything once and for all.

Over a period of less than four months, this person became my friend and good neighbor. He never attended our church but he also didn’t bother us again. Amazing.