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12 Ways Christians Can be Less Mean

I wrote a post recently encouraging Christians to be less mean — especially online. It was called “When Did Christians Become So Mean?

It seems to me, we’ve lost some of our civility when it comes to what we post on social media. We are quick to blast a company that we feel has wronged us. We criticize people — right on their Facebook page. We load the comments of a blog post with crushing blows.

Surely you’ve seen it. The web has made it much easier to be a critic.

But, it’s also in public. I’ve seen Christians I know act like jerks in a restaurant or grocery store. I consistently hear of bosses who serve smiling on Sunday but are mean to employees during the week.

It all has to hurt our witness as Christians.

The post got a little attention.

Actually, some people, proved the need for the post by the way they responded. 🙂

Still others asked for some suggestions of how we could improve — some even wanted examples.

I decided not to share specific examples. In my opinion, that would be mean. So, you’re meanness will remain anonymous in this post. If you are mean, most likely others already know your name. :).

I did decide to share some ways we can be “less mean” online.

Here are a dozen suggestions:

Consider others better than yourself. (Philippians 2:3)

Forgive one another (Ephesians 4:32)

Love one another (John 13:34)

Be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32)

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, (James 1:19)

Treat others as you would want to be treated (Luke 6:31)

Have the mind of Christ. (Philippians 2:5)

Remember kindness leads to repentance. (Romans 2:4)

Keep your tongue from evil And your lips from speaking deceit. (Psalm 34:13)

Honor everyone. (1 Peter 2:17)

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. (Ephesians 4:29)

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:10)

Just a few of those should improve the quality of our online involvement.

And, finally, a bonus one:

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (Colossians 3:12-14)

Those are some of my suggestions.

Got any others?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 27 Comments

  • Lance says:

    I heard this philosophy in a sermon on Sunday. The pastor said that if he comes to know a person who is not positive he just stops relating to them. He will say hi and be cordial, but essentially he ignores them until they are no longer a part of his life. This seems to be what pastors are now taught, and in practice, teach their flocks to behave the same way. We all know that pastors have taught to never mention hell, sin, holiness, etc… because that is being mean. People want to come to church and have fun. Should I relate a personal story about how one of my former pastors stopped speaking to me for 3 months without telling me? He also would not return phone calls or respond to e-mails. When we finally did speak he asked me why I was still coming to church? Didn’t I get the “hint”? I did. I left. I served there for 12 years, and whoosh, kicked out; mainly because I saw sin in his walk and as a fellow elder thought I should hold him accountable. Won’t make that mistake again.

    I am sure Paul seemed “mean” when he got in Peter’s face in Galatians 2. He should have kept it to himself . . . right? He should have brought the issue before God and let God deal with Peter? And all of those correction letters? How dare Paul say such mean things? He was so upset with the Judaizers that he said they should castrate themselves. Meany. All I am really saying is many times meanness is in the eye of the beholder, or whose ox is being gored.

    • ronedmondson says:

      And, I think you miss the point. If I didn't like your music Sunday, posting on your Facebook wall is not the right method. If the waitress doesn't bring you the right order, scolding her is not the right method. You're talking apples. I'm talking oranges.Good call though on what you say. I agree.

  • John says:

    I have learned the lesson (unfortunately on more than one occasion) that “Facebook fights” and social media posts can do much harm and very little good. While I post from a prophet side (to move people away from sin) I better not sound like a Pharisee (which has been the case too often).
    When people see Pharisee, the only people who change their minds are non Christians who see self righteous hypocrites who condemn the sinner. And non Christians are blinded to a world that needs to see the love of Jesus. Thank you for the reminder straight from Scripture how my words can be less mean.

  • Caryl says:

    Thank you for your well written article. I too find myself asking when did Christians become so mean. Realizing we are not a perfect people nevertheless, we are to be the light of the world. Hard to see the light in someone who is mean. Thanks again!

  • PastorKruppa says:

    Wonderful reminders and great practical verses to apply in our lives! I have another that has greatly helped me in my ministry — I Thessalonians 5:14 "Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men." That last part "be patient toward all men" is constant reminder for me that whether I'm dealing with someone who does need to be corrected or someone who just needs support…take my time, don't expect change, just let the Lord work through me.

  • rlburton1981 says:

    As a Catholic this is certainly something I've seen online (from both Protestants and Catholics), and it truly leaves me flabbergasted.

    1 Cot 13; 2 "If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. "

    "God opposes the proud… even when they're right" (Fr. Mike Scanlan)

  • jim says:

    When we are FIGHTING against Obamabots, Nothing is too mean!!!

  • Not so Pedestrian says:

    Ron…I don't need to go into the details but I have been stunned this week by the hate some people harbor in their hearts and how comfortable they seem to be to direct it at others. I have had quite a bit directed at me this week. I know I shouldn't be stunned. Our hearts are flesh. Thank God for grace, mercy, and forgiveness. I am passing your article around like candy today. It is a balm to my hurt heart and good wisdom to live by. Thank you.

  • Melody Stevens says:

    When Christians are being burned out of their homes, churches are burned, killed, ridiculed at work, school, and in public, you have the audacity to say Christians are mean? I don’t know where you live, but a Christian should be bold, unafraid to speak, and act on the truth. These days it seems more peolple are more interested in being liked and watering down the gospel and the judgement to come. The mess we are in is because Christans have been too passive, too docile to even stand up for their beliefs. And now you have the gall to say Christians are mean? Have you not read the vile comments from posting one comment about homosexuality, and then the dozens of hate and filthy comments that follow, and you think Christians are to blame? I disagree, if you don’t stand for Christ, you can’t call yourself a Christian. There are those that want Christ removed from everywhere and everyone, and have us put in a closet, my answer is no. I think being assertive and living a life of conviction, is far better than being percieved as mean by Satan.

    • ronedmondson says:

      I'm sorry you're offended. Persecution is real around the world. That is not my audience primarily and was obviously not the point of this post. 

  • Dan says:

    Another good one is I Peter 3. 8-12
    Finally be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful be courteous,
    not rendering evil for evil or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye may inherit a blessing.
    For he that would love life and see good days let him refrain his tongue from evil and lips that they speak no guile.
    Let him eschew evil, and do good, let him seek peace and ensue it.
    For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

  • thesilverofhisfining says:

    I love that this is God's Word, not yours. Well done! I also read the other post, When Did Christians Become So Mean. I haven't (yet) experienced this, but I've read about it many times. Thanks for standing your ground. ~Joyce

  • T.Wilmoth says:

    Hi Ron
    Hope you're having a great day so far.
    I have read your post and another one called "7 ways Christians should behave Online". Both posts seem to me to be a very gentle rebuke of what you see taking place online within the body of believers. Id like to tell you, its far worse than you make out, but your advice is good. The problem I see is that while we know what we should do from reading God's word, the majority of people who attend social media outlets online, do so without transparency. Social media outlets are like an addiction. Even believers become unhinged and feel no empathy, regard or respect for others. social media is the field where people seem to puke out the venom that has been stored up in their hearts. It's where there is no accountability for ones actions before man. I speak from experience and have gone through much pain dealing with abusive , so-called-christians. My advice and yours is the same. But here is one more I will add.

    Man may not be able to hold you accountable, But God does. He knows what you are doing. He knows the things you keep hidden and He knows all the dark recesses of your heart that you have not turned over to Him. You will give an answer to Him for every thought, every word and every action.
    Thankfully, If you are a true believer, God offers His forgiveness. Therefore, repent and ask God to help you take these guidelines offered by Ron here and apply them to your time online.

    We believers who do serve online, can make a difference. But before we do, we better make sure we are not part of the problem.


  • Gene Stands says: