The terms “Christian” and “bully” should not go together in a sentence. Yet there are times when even those who are members of the Christian faith can be observed bullying others. Interestingly, it is initially unintentional.

By definition, bullying is a repetitive behavior born out of an imbalance of power. Although we commonly associate bullying with threats of violence or physically harming another person, the use of verbal attacks and manipulative behaviors also fall under this umbrella. You might now argue that you do not verbally attack someone or physically harm any person. But does this let you off the hook? No, it does not.

For example, if your household is apprehensive about your intense emotional outbursts, you may be a person who bullies others into complying with your wishes and demands simply with the depth and force of your upset, displeasure or disappointment. If your children (and/or spouse) routinely walk on eggshells around you when you had a hard day at work, they are not being kind and giving you space. They have been browbeaten into submission with the threat of an emotional explosion.

From there, you may very likely find yourself moving from unintentional behaviors to forming intentional patterns. As a Christian, you do not set out to be a bully. However, after realizing that when you really want to get your way, there are some behaviors that pay off, you start capitalizing on this knowledge. It does not take long for you to intentionally manipulate others by falling back on these patterns. The odds are good that this occurs more and more frequently.

So, are you a Christian who bullies others? The good news is that there is help. Your discipleship partner is a phone call away. If you do not have someone in your life who can help you with this right now, talk to the person sitting next to you at church. Don't let it go on for another day!