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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