Why Are Christians So Mean? {Hear the Heartbreak?}

There’s already enough heartbreak in the world.

Why are we adding to it?

The sun is setting on anger. Wrapped up in justification. Smothered in unrighteous judgement.

The heat is on. Literally. In the moment. Why such angry words? Why such divisiveness?

20140610-210133.jpg

In writing my books I’ve read a lot for research. I love to learn so I read a lot for that reason alone. In all that reading, and actually in real life experiences and observations, I’ve witnessed so many Christians speak in such mean spirited ways, not only to non-Christians but to other Believers as well. It saddens me tremendously.

I used to. Surprise, you?

Harsh words.
Judgement galore.
Comparison.

My reason was because I was so extremely unhappy and depressed. And a bad habit of mean spirited thoughts and actions deeply rooted in my heart. Maybe you have different reasons but the roots have still grown deep. Or maybe you have been the recipient of such harshness just as I have since the renewing of my mind. It hurts, right? Actually it hurt me deeply back in the days I perpetrated it too. It all hurts.

But now… I’m not Saul. Now… I’m Paul. And I can see it and say it because I know it all too well. And I know the newness in Christ even better.

So I’ve been thinking about this for several years now. Now that I understand the root cause – not giving our ALL to God – I feel such heartache when I see it or experience it on the receiving side. The heartache heard around the world by so many. The heart that is not fully clinging to God.

No where does Christ say to speak anything like that harshness or meanness I’m speaking of … even in disagreeing. He says to Love our brothers and sisters in Him.

In Him. We are all in Him. ALL IN.

And to those who are not His through Christ? Well, we are not eternal judges. We are not mini-gods. We should be kind to one another for we know not. Only God sees into the hearts of man and determines whether they are His or not. But He tells us… Love One Another.

We won’t all agree but we must ask ourselves, “Is what I’m saying based on God’s Word or my own pride?” If it is based on God’s Word, there should only be loving words from our mouths.

I started a Google search like this recently:

Why are Christians…

Before I could fill anything in, the suggestion from popular searches came up and I was heart broken.

Why are Christians so mean?

There it is … heartache … heard around the world.

Now I’ve said this many times, but just to reiterate… I don’t like labels and I don’t like lumping people together in one group. Both things happen in that searched-for statement. But this time I’m way more bothered by the fact that so many people see us as mean. We have to ask ourselves WHY. And we must ask with an expectation of an honest answer and a plan for change.

To those who speak Truth in Love – keep going.

And when we receive harshness… I think these two helpful directives go together when we are facing those who are disagreeable or hurtful or when we are tempted to dish it out. I try to follow these when I’m tempted beyond righteous anger.

“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” ~ Ephesians 4:26-27 ES

“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,” ~ Proverbs 24:17 ESV

Go and live in love. When anger knocks remember to stay within God’s boundaries. Even if something offends Him and we want to defend, we should do so with the thought… “They are His creation too. And they may just be eternally connected to me through Him.”

After all, will any of this unrighteous anger matter in eternity? Not one iota.

We’ve got to think with our hearts. ALL IN.

Live blessed,

Heather

Don’t miss a post … Sign up here!

Advertisements

17 thoughts on “Why Are Christians So Mean? {Hear the Heartbreak?}

  1. lynnmosher says:

    Heather, I don’t understand it either. The meanness obviously doesn’t come from God. Just makes one wonder how *committed* the mean ones are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer says:

      I hear you, Lynn. And I can honestly say now that even though I had “reasons” the truth is just that: my heart was not connected all in to God … Not committed like I should have been. Just as you mention.

      But I know it’s a hard “habit” to break. That’s why I get so sad over it. I personally know their journey is long to correction, but even sadder that they haven’t admitted they NEED that road up redemption.

      And I hate it when I fall into the in-righteous anger temptation. It’s usually with loved ones. Maybe because I trust they’ll forgive easily. It’s rare now, but bothers me still. Life isn’t easy. ;)

      Like

  2. bunnyb1802 says:

    I’ve been on the end of it, I’ve dished it out. It’s a “holier than thou” attitude and it stinks and it harms. There are still huge swathes of the Christian church that engage in this all in the name of “love”, of correcting brothers and sisters “in the name of love”.
    As you can see, it’s a sore subject for me.
    None of us, NONE, are in a position to judge and there are times we should just keep quiet and pray, let God convict. It’s not always our postion to correct another. Sometimes the best thing for them is if we try to practically help, be a friend and pray that God will move in their hearts. We don’t know or understand every situation that that person is going through.

    You’re right to be heartbroken about this Heather, all of us should be. It’s very, very sad that people would do this. Me, I try to be very careful before I speak these days. I’ve spoken to many who have suffered at the tongues of well’meaning but judgemental Christians. It’s a sting that takes a long time to go away.

    Your post is a timely reminder that we need to guard our own hearts in this regard.
    X

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer says:

      My hope, Caroline, is that as I write out my deepest heart tuggings that people will stop, take a soul inventory, and want to draw nearer to God. We should all guard our minds and hearts, and quite frankly our mouths, to the point that we live with no regret.
      I love your conversations here. Your openness is an encouragement to so many. 💕

      Like

  3. Beth Hess says:

    Unfortunately, I, too, have experienced this kind of “meanness.” I fear, though, that I at times have been the perpetrator of less-than-loving speak. Life, then, becomes a complete exercise in grace. For others. For myself. We’re all broken. And sometimes we act like it. But so important, yes, that we are careful with our speech and actions as reflectors of Christ. A lovely post. Be blessed.

    Like

  4. Janene says:

    Thanks for your thoughts. I have to say I’ve asked that same question and one of the answers I’ve come up with is that so many of us believers have gone through difficult times and we’re still in the “work-in-progress” phase so we are either getting mean comments from others or inexplicably being mean because of our brokeness. We also tend to have higher expectations of Christians. One of the biggest reasons I hear from people about not going to church is that “they’re all hypocrites.” That same reasoning kept me away for a long time.

    Like

    • Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer says:

      Oh Janene, that hurts my heart when I hear people say that’s why they stay away from church. I know many. I’ve experienced it. In fact, one post I wrote recently called”When Church Hurts” struck a huge chord. The response was huge. Sadness mostly in the stories, but most were encouraging as they were seeking God anyway. Just we all should do.

      Thanks for your lovely conversation here. I am blessed by it. 💜

      Like

  5. passagethroughgrace says:

    Wow, Heather! I love the question and your deep reflection on why Christians are so mean. I have been on both sides of the fence on this issue and know that neither place feels good. You chose God’s truth wisely to portray your points. Both the verse from Ephesians and Proverbs highlight God’s lesson for us. I pray everyday that my words and actions honor God and those I come in contact with. Blessings my friend!

    Like

  6. Deb Wolf says:

    Amen Heather! I don’t anything “ruffles my feathers” more than this. I’m visiting from Holly’s and so glad to meet you. Keep sharing this message. It needs to be heard often! Blessings!

    Like

    • Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer says:

      Thanks for the encouragement, Deb. It’s not always easy to tell these Truths because many do to want to hear how they changed me and how they can change too. Not that it’s me! It’s Him. I’m just thankful to be in continual growth in Christ.
      Bless you dear!

      Like

  7. imconfident says:

    A mean Christian does set a poor example for Christianity and this is unfortunate because Christians and non-Christians both struggle with the same character flaws. Being Christian does not exempt us from making mistakes but it means we should try harder to overcome our imperfections by getting closer to God and becoming a positive example. Everyone should be careful with their words and actions because people are watching and listening and we should always try to be a good example.

    From personal experience and from research, I believe that our personalities are formed from the environment that surrounds us. I used to have a streak of meanness in me, along I always thought I was kind and caring. As you mentioned, I also used harsh words, was judgmental and comparing. Looking back to my childhood, I realized that I learned these bad habits from my mother who was very judgmental and sometimes mean towards others, although she presented herself as a good Christian and I have discovered that my grandmother also had the same personality. This didn’t mean that they didn’t believe in God and thought they were doing the right thing, they were just not taught how to love other people properly.

    We are born negative minded into a negative world, so every day is a struggle. We need to pray continuously for God to help us overcome any bad habits we have learned and teach our children how to be loving and kind.

    Like

I Would Love to Hear Your Thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s