7 Christian Tips for Dealing with Bullying

by Crystal McDowell · Print Print · Email Email

Bullying is a hot topic in many conversations and it’s not just about children. Adults are bullied in their marriages, at work, and sadly, sometimes at church. As believers, we’re called to deal with the injustice of bullying rather than allowing, ignoring, denying, or giving excuses for bad behavior.

There is a Biblical response to bullying—that’s spiritual, practical, and applicable for any age. However, it’s not for the faint-hearted or double-minded person to engage. There must be a firm confidence of faith in God to empower you with wisdom in dealing with difficult people.

Tip #1) Recognize bullying behavior when you are aware of it

“By their fruit you will recognize them” (Matthew 7:20)

The fruit of bullish behavior will carry the stench of selfish gain at the cost of other people’s property, peace, or dignity. Sometimes it can be subtle; however, a spiritually discerning person will sense the red flags of a bully. It’s a matter of recognizing it and speaking the truth in love. No one is helped when a bully is allowed a free rein of destruction. Hurt feelings or difficult conversations can’t be avoided. The good fruit of taking a standing for what is right reflects the loving justice of our Heavenly Father.

Tip #2) Seek wisdom from God on how to deal with it

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6)

Responding in your flesh or carnal nature will be the easiest, yet most unspiritual way of dealing with a bully. Sometimes your past interactions with bullies will make you more defensive and reactive instead of you being thoughtfully proactive in the Spirit. Seeking wisdom from God leaves no lingering regret and plenty of room for grace. Wisdom nurtures a willing heart and an open mind to draw a bully towards a spirit of repentance.

Related reading on grace:  How To Show Grace To Others

You are a conqueror in the name of Jesus Christ. You are the head and not the tail. You are a part of a royal priesthood and called by God to overcome evil with good.

You are a conqueror in the name of Jesus Christ. You are the head and not the tail. You are a part of a royal priesthood and called by God to overcome evil with good.

Tip #3) Free yourself from the temptation of revenge

“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath” (Romans 12:19)

Forgiving the bully isn’t excusing their behavior or allowing them to continue in their abusiveness. Rather, it’s more about your heart than theirs. Your heart needs to remain free from bitterness, revenge, or the need for retribution. The Lord will take care of all revenge—both small and great. We can take confidence that our God is a God of justice and will repay every indignity on the heads of those who dare to violate His commandment of loving one another.

Tip #4) Resist the urge to ignore or delay action

“Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God” (2 Kings 19:19)

Bullies are empowered when good people ignore or attempt to appease them. King Hezekiah was afraid of the Assyrians and gave them gold from the temple. Yet the Assyrians chided the nation of Judah for following after the true and living God. Hezekiah could no longer ignore nor appease the threat to his kingdom. He fell on his face and asked for God’s deliverance. In response, God miraculously delivered the nation of Judah. Sometimes God allows bullies in our lives to get us back on our knees and to seek Him first.

Tip #5) Search out advice from other courageous believers

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22)

“Hindsight is better than foresight”—and many of us have learned this lesson the hard way. Therefore, it’s good to discuss strategy and insight from people who’ve dealt with bullies in the past. We can learn to avoid repeated mistakes and instead move towards productive progress in dealing with a bully. The body of Christ needs to build a fort of protection around the weaker believers so that their faith in God isn’t destroyed by the actions of bullies.

Tip #6) Take action when prompted by the Holy Spirit  

“Each one should test their own actions” (Galatians 6:4)

There’s no one way to deal with a bully. Every situation can be unique because of the bully, the person being victimized, and the situation surrounding the events. What’s most important is to cultivate a closeness with God in prayer and Bible study in preparation for the right and timely action. Sometimes the response to a bully may seem harsh, sublime, or impractical—yet God’s power and presence isn’t limited. His purpose and plan will stand when we courageously take action in faith.

Tip #7) Pray for the bully’s salvation and deliverance 

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44-45)

Regardless of your actions—the bully isn’t your real enemy. Your enemy is Satan and he will use anyone to get your eyes off of God’s love. Keeping a prayerful attitude about a particular bully will keep you sensitive and aware of their lost soul or their need to grow up in the faith. You never know how God may intervene in the lives of the most bitter, hardened, and evil hearts to change them into the likeness of Christ for the building of God’s kingdom. Remember…nothing is too hard for God!

Press Onward Christian Soldiers!

You are a conqueror in the name of Jesus Christ. You are the head and not the tail. You are a part of a royal priesthood and called by God to overcome evil with good. Every battle will play out with the ultimate victory in Christ Jesus when you walk by faith and not by sight. God’s timing has a more lasting effect and purpose than your finite sense of justice.

Here is a related article to read today: 8 Christian Tips For Dealing With Difficult People

Resources – New International Version Bible, The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblca, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

NICHOLAS December 27, 2013 at 5:14 pm

I remember when I was young — I know hard to believe that was so many years ago , but it was a different problem then — your parents had the most to do with teaching children not to make fun of others and not to bully , I have seen in schools more involvement in this recently with wall posters against it , teacher cadet programs where students help with mentally handicapped children and see first hand how loving these students are and how they have needs we should all care about , with all this , one major problem is leaving the Bible out of public things of course , I remember my dad reading to me about how you should not be mean to a dumb-brute somewhere in the Bible , he found so many things , and back then the hard way he had to read it all , and remember and make notes of what he read , where now-a-days we just put a few words in on a search engine site on a computer and there it is . I think we should really as Christians make good use of computers and that is one way to fight against the pornography that is so prevalent , teach our children to do the same , the devil is working so hard against us in all this ………..

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Crystal McDowell January 18, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Dear Nicholas,

May godly mothers and fathers continue to teach their children the truth of Scriptures as your father taught you.
Amen.

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Mike January 30, 2017 at 6:16 am

The bible says theres a time and place for everything so when is there tume to fight back and crack a bullys head wide open, like david and goliath? Alot of christian lives couldve been saved if they wouldve fought back.

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Jack Wellman January 30, 2017 at 4:44 pm

Hello Mike. No, my friend, please don’t seek revenge. Rom 12 and elsewhere (Matt 5:) says we are to pray for our enemies, do good to them to despitefully use us, and bless them that curse you. If you seek to get revenge, you are breaking God’s law (Rom 12). Maybe a lot of Christians might have been saved, but God tells us turn the other cheek. Not smack them back.

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Debbie Branham February 22, 2017 at 5:47 am

Please help me pray for my son christopher and his bully boss Jim Cain my son is a single father and needs his job that he is very good at and worked hard for…but this man is after him and is breaking his spirt . Help me ask God to let no weapon formed against my son and please give him peace and guidance about this Bully! This is breaking my heart my son has to face this everyday .I am praying for Jim to be replaced any day and for others to also speak up 2 others have already left a job they loved because they could not take it anymore ( good people) this man is so clever going to HR will not help others have tried.my heart breaks for my son that has worked so hard and always does the right thing Jim is pushing him to a breaking point . He seems to go after those that do the right thing and that want comform to his wrong way of doing business and treating others that for for you unfair….this is not my sister and he told Jim this and now he is after him …because he sees christopher as a thorn.This is starting to effect chris s health (and mine) by heart is breaking for him .Jim also needs prayers He should be a leader not trying to lead these young adults astray. I don’t understand this man something must be missing in his life . How does he sleep at nite .please pray God’s protection over christopher and for his job he loves and needs and don’t the devil and enemy take it from him. Help me know how to pray and not feel anger for jim.thank you God bless

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Jack Wellman February 22, 2017 at 9:34 am

Hello Mrs. Branham. Thank you for your comment and request for prayer. We will most certainly pray over this, but if your son’s repented and trusted in Christ, he should realize that Jesus said that the path to eternal life is hard, narrow, and difficult, and most every Christian I know is going thru similar circumstances as persecution grows. I can’t tell you how to pray for him, so just pour out your heart to Him like you did here. He listens to every child of his who has repented and trusted in Christ, including you and your son.

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Maria Jensen February 28, 2017 at 8:21 am

Hi I am requesting prayer because I am in a difficult church situation. I am forced to attend a prayer meeting. The problem is that everyone else is asked to pray on a small topic and I am deliberately left out. I was only asked to pray on two occassions which was in front of other people to pray for the fear of the Lord and I felt like I was singled out. The second occassion I was told specifically what to pray for in the prayer church doctrine whereas others are not given the specifications. I have not spoken out as yet.

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Jack Wellman February 28, 2017 at 9:34 am

Hello Mrs. Jensen. These things are troubling and as a pastor, I am saddened that someone is not being held accountable for being fair. Have you talked to the pastor about this? I would. There should be no partiality among people as there is no partiality with God. Praying about this…

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Luiza Menezes-Fernandes March 10, 2017 at 4:40 am

Father God I come to you for help for you say so. Please crack and defeat the following bullies, who are holding my lands in Goa when it is ours. I trusted them and they got me to do because I innocently trusted them and NOW they are making me and my aged mother a scape goat,showing carrots and making me bully past five years and having a laugh. Lord bring me out of this pit and put these evil men in their grave soon Father God. They are also sexually attacking me.
1. Ashley Dias, Goa
2. Ernesto Morias, Goa
3. Kenneth Rose Fernandes, Australia
4. Arthur Menezes, Goa
5. Ladislaw Menezes, Goa
6. Family of Menezes Caterers, Goa
7. Ramesh Bishe, Goa
8. Winston, Goa
The first three being the most notorious ones Lord help me.
Amen

4.

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melissa April 30, 2017 at 10:18 am

There is nothing sinful about defending yourself. Didn’t you read about what Paul said about the Alexander the coppersmith? Have you not read where Jesus said to sell you stuff to go buy a sword? Because Christians have been “turning the other cheek”, we are now stuck with no prayer in school, etc. and Christian persecution at all levels. When someone is lying about you at work and trying to make you lose your job, you must pray AND defend yourself, or you will be out of a job.

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melissa April 30, 2017 at 10:34 am

p.s. I am not talking about physically attacking someone or even verbally attacking someone. I am talking about speaking up and exposing these kinds of people. The more they get away with the more evil they will do.

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EA July 28, 2017 at 7:31 pm

I’m a hard working employee and I’ve been prayerfully asking God to open another door for me. My employer allows others to disrespect me and says nothing and I’m tired of it. I’ve missed an opportunity to interview for a great job opportunity due to an appointment.

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Matthew August 14, 2017 at 4:00 pm

Great article. I really needed this today.

Matthew – The Blue Mountains, Australia

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Lynsey September 24, 2017 at 12:40 pm

This was exactly what I needed to read. I am dealing with multiple bullies in my life and don’t always know how to deal with it. I feel more equipped now. Thanks

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Paige weedn September 29, 2017 at 5:38 am

Please help me pray for the strength of kindness over the power of seeking revenge. I am a senior in High School this year and I have 2 people who attempt to bully me everyday with their nonsense. It’s like a game they play to make themselves laugh and just try to break me down but I keep strength and ignore it. This has been happening to me for a whole year now and I’m starting to break so please help pray for me and to forgive my eneimies at school.

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Nel October 13, 2017 at 12:57 pm

Thank for this timely article, my son gets slapped in school and scratched because he is a quiet boy who doesn’t say much, my unbelieving husband calls me crazy for being bothered by this, whereas I don’t sleep very much about this. I have told the teacher before but nothing is being done about it. I feel like leaving my marriage because am alone in this. Please pray for me.

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Maggie December 30, 2017 at 1:41 am

I am going through hard time at work right now. I nurse same level as me has been bullying me for a long time.going behind my back influencing junior to lie about me. Even herself. She created lies and telling the manger wrong information. Please pray for me I am falling apart.. Please pray for her too because the devil is using her to torment me

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Margret April 4, 2018 at 5:54 am

Please help me and pray for my husband. Throughout our marriage I have felt that his “advice” is actually bullying because after giving me his advice he would tell me that “it is what he expects me to do and full stop”.

If I try to explain myself I get shut down straight away. I am not aloud to do things the way I like to do he how I shop for the family, how I dress, drive, cook or anything that I have done my whole life before meeting my husband. I’m constantly told I do things wrong and that I am always causing him trouble with my big mouth. I have been praying for restoration of my marriage for over a year now but I find myself at a point where I have had enough and I don’t think I want this marriage anymore. I don’t know what to do anymore.

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Jack Wellman April 4, 2018 at 11:32 am

Praying now for you and your marriage Margret. I know that only God can change the human heart (Prov 21:1), so that is my prayer for your husband.

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John April 16, 2018 at 9:25 am

I do believe in God…I believe that’s nothing too hard for him. But I am bullied for six years straight. I am beaten again and again, I lost my dignity and hope in life, I lost my dreams and became a pessimistic person. I believe in God and his power, but at times like those, He never was there helping me out even as I wept and cried every single time.

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Jack Wellman April 16, 2018 at 11:55 am

Hello John. That was pretty much me in my youth too. I am so sorry this is so painful for you. Let me say this about suffering. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt 5:10-12) and Peter wrote,”12Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God” (1 Pet 4:12-17). My prayers are for you John.

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