In a previous post, I discussed the clueless Christian and how they may not be fully aware of the damage they are causing. In this article we will look at the plain old mean Christian who causes hurt and havoc wherever they go.
The Mean Christian
It is sad to say, but there are people in churches who seem to get some sort of satisfaction from putting others down. Motives are often difficult to discern, but it may be that at least some of these mean people are trying to bolster their own egos by tearing down people around them. They may be perpetually insecure or angry. They may have a grudge against a particular individual or a certain type of person. These folks will eventually build a reputation of being hard to work with, grumpy, and just plain ornery. Sometimes they are able to gather a handful of people around them who are impressed with their ability to make things happen, and who can tolerate the difficulties of associating with them.
Dealing with mean Christians
You may hear people remark concerning mean people that someone ought to stand up to them. The reason people hesitate to do so is that most church folks desire to be agreeable. Many Christians are also intimidated by the prospect of the type of confrontation that will almost certainly not be well received. So, if you strongly believe that a mean person should be lovingly confronted, it may be your privilege to do so. If so, be sure to spend time in prayer and confession of your own sins, and be sure to seek impartial and confidential counsel before going ahead. Matthew 18:15-17 gives the procedure for confronting people in sin and seeking reconciliation. If the personal interaction does not work, Christian leadership may need to become involved. This will depend, of course, upon the magnitude and scope of the damage being caused by the individual in question.
In other posts in this series, we look at clueless people, agenda-driven people, divisive people, and others who cause conflict.
Michael Bogart, EdD