In Christianity, we are called to live life together, but there is something I see all too often in my walk as a Christian. It’s a topic I’ve struggled with myself and has become an artform: Christian bullying. We may disguise it as trying to lead someone to the “right choice” or “speaking the truth in love”, but Christian bullying is often thinly veils within these interactions. The truth is that it’s all too easy to discount someone whose walk and theology are different from our own. Each and every day, there are Christians who persecute other Christians based on differences in approach and preference. Dealing with Christian bullying can be difficult, but the problem goes deeper than conflict; when we persecute each other, we are preventing the Gospel from moving forward.
Take a moment to think of the human body; every part has a position and function. Nothing is isolated; the body is connected by the interlocking of muscle, tissue, and bone. Scripture paints a beautiful picture in 1 Corinthians 12:27: “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (NIV). Scripture also states,
“So that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.…” (1 Corinthians 12:25-26, ESV).
Christ sees Christians as a unified body, every piece connected to another. When we start creating lines between ourselves through bullying, we are breaking down the cohesiveness of the body.
Additionally, when we focus on petty differences, we can lose sight of our goal as Christians: to put others above ourselves and to love God with all our hearts. Isn’t it just the perfect situation for Satan when we fight amongst ourselves? We play into Satan’s hands when we bully one another, weakening our defenses. In Romans 16:17, Paul warns the churches of Rome about people who cause unnecessary conflict within the group:
“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them” (ESV).
Bullying should be the last thing that we see in the church, but, unfortunately, it’s all too prevalent. When we act as bullies, creating conflict and isolating other Christians, we’re breaking down the body of Christ and distracting ourselves from God’s calling. The miracle of Christ is that he brings us together from every background, outlook and idiosyncrasy. While we may have different preferences or styles, our calling, as one, is to move the Gospel forward, reaching more people who need to hear it. So treat people with kindness. Even when you don’t agree with them. Even when you have completely different interests and personalities. These people are children of God who were created for a purpose. Let’s focus today on laying down our pride and loving people the way Jesus loves. Imagine the kind of community we would have if we loved like Christ.
The Journey Principles offers a spiritual approach to healing your relationships through God’s love.
In your service,