So, Who’s the Bully?

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Galatians 6:1

I was enraged to learn that some Christian youths were bullying a young lady in their fellowship group. How dare they! How could Christians do that! Are they even saved?

I wondered why I was reacting so strongly…. then I began to remember something that happened years ago, when I was a teacher. While doing a grammar drill with my fifth graders, I made up drill sentences about fat people. Even though I was not picking on or thinking of any specific individuals, there really was sinful nastiness in my heart. If someone saw me or heard about what I did, I deserved to be rebuked. Would they have been enraged at me…how dare a Christian teacher do that! Or would they have restored me gently?

So, the bullies that I heard about did need to be called out. But the person calling out would need to do it with a certain gentleness that was meant to restore. Perhaps these young bullies were not even aware of the sin they were in…I know I was not aware of my sin when I uttered those grammar drill sentences about fat people, even though I should have known better.

I think these examples illustrate a major truth about rants against sin: the line between people we are enraged at and our own behavior can be a lot blurrier than we admit! How much we need the reminder to not give in to the temptation to erupt into a self-righteous rage and, instead, to restore with gentleness!

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