41. Intimidation

41. Intimidation

The number one commandment, according to the Word, is to love the Lord our God.1 But the commandment that is repeated more times than any other is “fear not”. God does not want His people to live oppressed by fear.

God has provided everything necessary for us to live free from fear. He told us that we have not received a spirit of slavery that will have us fear again.2 He affirms that there is no fear in love and that perfect love casts out all fear.3

God wants us to have an abundant life and the beating that Jesus took on the day of his crucifixion was a sign of that desire. He took the punishment so we could have peace.4 He wants us to live securely without the fear of evil.5

When we intimidate others in order to impose our will on them, we are going directly against this desire that God has for His people, that we live without fear.

Intimidation can be disguised in various ways, it has many faces. It could be verbal, such as yelling, but also insisting, wearing the other person out, threatening, scorning or ridiculing.

We should never think that it is alright to hurt others in order to produce fear in them and change their wrong behavior. Proverbs tell us that the fear of man brings a snare.6 We do not help others when we impose our will on them — even when it is for their own good. As a matter of fact, we lay out a snare for them.

One of the greatest fears we have is the fear of rejection. This is the mother of all fears. Ceasing to exist for someone else or for a group of people that we like really hurts, even if it is only momentary.

All of us have experienced rejection in one form or another and we do not want to go through that again. That is why people will often overlook our bad temper, our sarcasm or scorn and will even submit to our manipulations even if they are not convinced that our way of seeing things is the best way. It might be that they don’t want to lose our friendship or our approval. God help us not to take advantage of this “weakness” in others. That “weakness” is just a need, a need for love. It shows that those people really value us and our friendship.

We cannot go against God’s dream for His people, that they live securely without the fear of evil — even if we are just trying to “help” them to make the right choices.

Because of my size, it would be easy for me to intimidate people. I fight against this every day. I use humor to fight against this. God could much more use His “size” to impose His will — which is always the right choice for us to make — but He chooses not to.

My intention in writing these thoughts is to help you and me to resist intimidation and to resist using intimidation as a weapon to “help” people. Let me share with you something that has helped me to resist the threat of intimidation.

Proverbs 19:23 says that the fear of the Lord leads to life and that we can rest satisfied. Strange, isn’t it? The fear of the Lord brings life and satisfied rest. Proverbs 14:27 says that the fear of the Lord is a fountain of life. Psalms 27:1 says that God is my light and my salvation and asks a rhetorical question, “whom shall I fear?” It goes on and tells us that the Lord is the strength of our lives and asks again, “of whom shall I be afraid?”

The deeper your relationship with God is, the less susceptible you will be to fear and intimidation. Knowing in whom you have believed gives security and the necessary strength to be able to overcome the manipulations — many times done to “help” you make the right choice — of people that intimidate you.

1- Matthew 22: 36, 37 2- Romans 8:15 3- 1 John 4:18 4- Isaiah 53:5 5- Proverbs 1:33 6- Proverbs 29:25