Seems like an oxymoron–how can a Christian be a bully? I’m not talking about people who claim to be Christian but live their lives in the pursuit of the misery of others. The Bible condemns such behaviour as pagan, and such people do need to question why they can claim to be Christians at all.
But were you a bully in days past? Throughout my ministry I’ve met youth who made the lives of their peers a living hell, often while wearing the name of Christ, thus dragging His name through the mud.
Because of Christian bullies, there are many more hearts hardened to the Gospel. You, the “Christian example,” participated in the marginalisation of the weak and outsider. You picked on her, you embarrassed him publicly. You contributed to the daily misery and tears, sometimes even to the point of physical illness; possibly self-destruction.
Is it any wonder your victims steer clear from all things Christian? The real tragedy for your victims is that on the day of judgment no one can claim an excuse that they were bullied away from the Gospel. Can you live with this?
Now you are a Christian adult. You are active in all the right causes, you give to missions, you read your Bible and have your devotions, you raise your children to be Christians, and say all the right words. You might even write against bullying.
Do you think this undoes the pain you’ve caused in the past? Do you think you are absolved of any responsibility for restitution?
Matthew 5:21–26 (ESV)
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
As a bully, you’ve already accomplished vss 21-22. What have you done with 5:24-26? Your victims “have something against you.” You might still harbour the lying rationalisation that those you hurt somehow brought this down on themselves. Jesus’s Words in the Sermon on the Mount cut right through this nonsense.
So, back to you. Are you still bringing gifts to the altar, while leaving the hurt to their hurting? God doesn’t need your activism; but you do need His Righteousness and Holiness.
Micah 6:6–8 (ESV)
6 “With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? 7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” 8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?