19 February 2013

The Multiplier Effect of Vindictiveness


Vindictiveness is a harmful trait. Its destructive nature spreads out like ripples on a pond or even sometimes waves on the ocean in a storm. Its causes can be varied. Sometimes it is extreme egotism. Sometimes it is low self esteem. Its specific, underlying cause in all cases, though, is the sin of pride. To illustrate with an example, there once was a vindictive woman who was an extreme bully. She kept others down through intimidation and would brook nothing that she considered a challenge to her perceived authority. She bullied those around her, even those who were largely responsible for her success. Anyone who challenged her, she sought to destroy. There were those who did try to stand up to her, but they all either failed or had to back down, cowering in the corner.

Then there came a man who finally stood up to her, for he would not be subject to her bullying. Not surprisingly, this vindictive woman not only sought to destroy this man, but also his family. She was not content to deal with the problem she had with the one man and felt the need to extend her vicious reach to those closest to him. That is the behavior of an extremely vindictive bully. And, as is also common in such situations, the other victims, the man's family, turned on the man and blamed him for the problems that they were facing at the hands of the bully, rather than blame the bully herself. Such is the vile and destructive nature of an intense bully. There is no love, no compassion, and no feeling inside such a person. Christ is not in the heart of the bully, but rather the heart is empty.

Indeed, the vindictive behavior of an extreme bully reaches out well beyond their principle target. Such a bully will not hesitate to strike out at whatever or whomever can be used to hurt their principle target. Most people react out of fear, which is never a good response. Most people give in, knuckle under, and crawl. This does nothing more than fuel the behavior of the bully, making them increasingly stronger and more confident in their bullying. Rather, bullying must never, ever be tolerated. Like the evil that it is, it must be fought, opposed, and brought to light so that victims may gain their strength back instead of the bullies.

One person, one bully, acting on the sin of pride, may do an immense amount of damage to many people. This is the work of Satan. This is a sin crying out to Heaven to be avenged. Far too many people on this earth right now are being kept down physically, emotionally, and spiritually at the hands of bullies because people give into fear or greed and selfishly make the decision not to stand up to bullies. So, the victim suffers. Those around him suffer. His work suffers. His spiritual life suffers. His family suffers. His emotional health suffers. It is time for people to take back their power from the hands of the bullies. Enough is enough.

+ Rutherford Cardinal Johnson