How a Christian can respond to cyber-bullying


As Christians, we can be shielded from so many things because of what Jesus Christ did for us - from the sting of eternal death and hell even. But even the most mature and established Christian can be at the receiving end of cyber-bullying. We are assured in this, however, that though we are ridiculed, offended and even attacked, we do not need to let the attitude and actions of others affect ours.

Cyber-bullying is as real for Christians as it can be for anyone, and sadly many of us do not deal with it too well. What really is the proper response to a troll who may often feel like their only agenda is to ruin your day? While there is no clear-cut and specific instruction from the Bible that tells us what to do with bullies, we are instructed to have the right stance of heart.

Jesus taught us that love should not only be for those who we think are convenient to love. He commands us to love even the most unlovable - yes, even online trolls. 1 John 3:15 tells us, "Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him."

And while it may seem impossible to even have the motivation to love the most terrible of online bullies, Jesus promises that as we receive Him into our lives, He gives us the ability to treat others as He would treat them. 2 Timothy 1:7 says "For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." Three points I want to glean from this scripture that might give light when it comes to dealing with cyber-bullies - power, love and self-control.

Power. It may sometimes feel that cyber-bullies have the power to ruin our day, but that power is only in them because we give it to them. The power is not in the offence, but in the one who receives it. God has given you a Spirit - His Spirit - to tackle the power of bitterness and hate and counter it with God's assurance that your day is as good as won in Jesus Christ.

Love. What causes us to want to get back at trolls? Is it a holy fire that we want to reign on them to teach them a lesson, or is it simply a lack of compassion for them? When we see bullies for who they really are, it's obvious that their actions are only based on a lack of affirmation and affection that they wish to receive from you. Don't feed their hunger for attention with hate. Respond instead in love, and sometimes that may mean not responding at all.

Self-control. Speaking of holding back responses, how much of yourself do you give to the self-control of Christ? Sure by our own strength it's hard to hold back, but it's never about our ability. It's the Holy Spirit working through us. Have Jesus control your tongue and you'll be surprised how much life you'll speak towards even the worst of online bullies.