3 John 1:9 speaks of a person as being one who loves preeminence (one who likes to be first) Being in control of everything that is happening!
Romans 16:17 &18 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned: and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ , but their own belly: and by good words and fair speeches decieve the hearts of the simple (unsuspecting).
In Bible study we discussed bullying (in school, facebook, cyberspace, etc) but we missed one place where bullying occurs, CHURCH!! What about the church bullies? Adult bullying is the worst, our children would not believe that adults are threatened by bullies, our children look up to us to protect them. But who protects us from the Church bullies?
Church bullying is sometimes subtle but can also be someone with a strong personality who makes decision on whats right or wrong. This bullying doesn’t allow outsiders in. We in the body of Christ turn a blind eye to this behavior. Well I am not a coward and I will speak out if I see it being done to me or others, I will not, I repeat I will not turn the other cheek.
Most of us don’t want to stand up against bullies we’d rather keep quiet and keep the peace. Elder DeDe Cason shared with us about a bullying session she attended, the authorities made everyone involved with bullying accountable, the bully, the victim and the bystanders. This is how it it should be, ( for ex: I drive you to rob a bank or I am the look out person, I may not have actually gone into the bank to rob it but my association makes me just as guilty and usually my association by law gets me more time in prison than the actual bankrobber.)
Being bullied can be a hurtful experience and when you finally stand up for yourself, the bullies and those involved will think that you are being disrespectful and trying to cause strife (cowards how dare you turn the tables). Most church bullies are in cliques and are very protective of each other. Most bullies have been abused and bullied themselves and instead of not bullying they become the biggest bullies, knowing very well the pain and hurt they suffered at the hand of a bully they turn around and victimize others. Bullies hide their insecurities and low self esteem by controlling and manipulating. Bullies are fast to let you know of their authority and they end up abusing it.
Bullies do not function as servants they allow others to do meaningless tasks while they direct. Bullies have their own agendas and only their choice of people are on them. Bullies give you dirty looks, the cold shoulder and stop you from doing anything in the church when you report the abuse to someone in authority about their behavior. Gossip and rumors are an act of bullying. In my opionion they are no different than a man/woman who beats his/her wife/husband and children.
Pastor Sheron Patterson says this about bullying. We are human beings and we must not tolerate abuse against ourselves, vicious people is not a reflection of poor leadership, failing to do something about it is. And I strongly agree. We need to be careful and mindful of how we treat people. If a member is missing services and they’re not sick, it could be that they’re being bullied or have observed bullying. If a member who was once very active withdraws from activities and now they’re bench warmers it could be that they’re being bullied. I should not feel threatened to come to you and speak the truth and when I do I’m ostracized. If everyone is feeling the same way about a person, trust me its not the majority that is wrong (as the old folks use to say everybody ain’t telling the same lie). Oftentimes people leave the church because they feel like we want do anything to the bullies, they’ve had enough and they find somewhere else to worship or they stop worshiping at all. We need to observe these things and address then, but first we must pray on how we should handle the situation. Being a hothead doesn’t bring results only confrontations that can get out of hand.
We are going to be judge by a Holy God for this type of behavior, when we fail to comfort and protect those who are and have been hurt we are failing to do what Christ commanded, we must be on constant vigil for how our words and actions hurt others and when we do hurt someone we should humbles ourselves and ask God and the person to forgive us. Repent immediately.
Bullies need love and attention. We must stop saying that’s just they way he or she is. Stop compromising. And lastly a bully may not realize that they are a bully. We must educate, teach and train our congregation on bullying and that we will not tolerate bullying in the Body of Christ.
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