What Does The Bible Say About Bullying


Bullying is defined as ‘repeated and unwanted physical, verbal, or emotional aggression, either direct or indirect, by one or more people against another person, who does not feel secure about confronting the aggressor(s)’. It is an issue that affects people everywhere, of all ages and from different backgrounds, and unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly prevalent within our society, raising numerous ethical and religious issues. One such religion that attempts to shed light on this important topic is Christianity, and in this article, I’ll explore what The Bible has to say about bullying.

Background of Biblical Teachings

One of The Ten Commandments, taken from Exodus 20:16, states: ‘You must not give false evidence against your neighbor’. This portrays the ideals of kindness and respect that are to be shown between each other, and this is reiterated in various other scriptures from Corinthians, Ephesians and John, which explain that one’s actions, words and body language all contribute to how they love and treat one another.
Of course, these messages are not always easy to relate to in our modern, fast-paced society, as we are all pulled in different directions and can struggle to find the time and energy to practise what we preach. However, if we are able to keep the biblical teachings in mind and really try to apply them to our everyday lives, then these teachings can provide the framework to help us build healthier relationships and deal with problems like bullying in the best way possible.

Types of Bullying

When we consider the various types of bullying, it is important to be aware that there are many different forms. For example, physical bullying includes hitting, kicking, shoving and other forms of violence and is the most easily recognised mode of bullying, but there are also subtler types worth considering. Psychological bullying can include verbal, emotional and social attacks on someone’s characters and reputation, with persistent insults and mocking, while cyberbullying often entails sending hurtful messages via digital media, such as WhatsApp or Instagram. All such activities are examples of wrongful behaviour that are explicitly forbidden in The Bible.

Dealing with Bullying

Once brought to light, it is important to know how to respond appropriately to bullying in alignment with the teachings of The Bible. And while some suggests that it is best to ignore it, as accepting the negativity will only make things worse, it is important to remember that it is never acceptable to tolerate such behaviour.
The Bible provides numerous stories to help guide its readers when tackling situations like this. An example of one such story is that of the Prodigal Son, where a younger son decides to leave his home, only to realise his wrongdoings and eventually return to be forgiven by his father. This teaches us that, with regards to bullies, we should make efforts to forgive them – as much as we don’t condone their behaviour – and take the moral high ground.

Biblical Wisdom

The Bible also contains wisdom we can use when talking to people about bullying. For example, in the Book of Proverbs, readers are encouraged to ‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute’. Through this, we can learn how important it is to not simply remain silent, but to actively reach out and speak up for victims of bullying, as well as bringing attention to the issue and engaging in conversations with like-minded individuals.
The Bible also speaks strongly against revenge and encourages us to take the higher ground. Romans 12:17-19 gives us “Do not repay anyone evil for evil.
Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord”.

Role of the Church

The Church has a unique role to play in the fight against bullying. It recognises that all humans are part of a larger community and, as such, it is their responsibility to look out for one another, especially those who are in need, and to shoulder the burden of those who require extra assistance. The Church can also play a role in developing supportive relationships with victims and their families, while also providing a safe haven in which they can find solace and support as they recover from their ordeal.
The Church can also provide invaluable resources, such as counselling and guidance services, to help those who have been bullied or are in the process of recovery. Moreover, it can be a resource to help those who are the perpetrators of such harms. The Church can provide a space in which individuals can find the necessary help, tools and support they need to spend less time engaging in destructive behaviour and more time focussing on positive activities and rebuilding relationships.

Role of Parents

Parents also have an important role to play in the fight against bullying. One of the best methods for this is to set an example when it comes to showing respect for others and engaging with people in a positive and healthy manner, as children are oftentimes more likely to emulate the behaviour and attitudes of their parents. Parents can also provide guidance and support by addressing any issues and encouraging open conversations so that children feel comfortable enough to talk about and deal with problems they may be facing, as well as helping them to develop stronger relationships with their peers.
Moreover, parents should understand that by standing in the crisis and providing support and advice to their children, the effects of bullying can be decreased to some extent. This can involve providing emotional support and developing strategies that address the issues that are causing the bullying in the first place. Parents should also be aware that when it comes to cyberbullying, open conversations, boundary setting, and mutual understanding are all essential for successful prevention of any such harms.

Parents in the Church

There is an increasing number of parents who are members of the church, and so it is important that they are also mindful of their role in the fight against bullying. Not only can they use their position within the church to reach out to their children and teach them how to tackle such issues in accordance with the teachings of the Bible, but they can also provide support to other members that require assistance. Moreover, they can encourage their children to develop positive relationships with others and engage in activities within the church that will help to foster positive behaviour and values.
In addition to this, parents can also work with their local churches to provide resources and a platform to bring victims, bullies and other members of the community together to address the issue of bullying. Through such activities, the church can help to eliminate bullying on a local level and work towards creating a more harmonious and inclusive community in which everyone is respected and treated with love and care.


In conclusion, it is clear to see that The Bible is a valuable source of information when it comes to addressing the issue of bullying, as it lays out numerous stories and teachings on how to respond to such problems. Not only does it encourage us to show kindness and support to those in need, but it also encourages us to maintain a higher level of understanding and respect for one another. It also makes it clear that we must take a proactive approach to tackling bullying, by speaking up and offering support to those in need, and re-establishing relationships through the Church.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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