Mean Spirited Members

Q. I am a believer who attends a bible teaching church and the people claim to believe also. My problems are some of their actions. I have had some very hurtful things said and done to me and my family by some members and I am treated with Christ like love by others. Please don’t think that I am just being petty, these are things you expect from people of this world, not true believers. My problem is how to deal with the people who seem to be jealous of me because of my talents. All that I have I received from God. They are getting to be a bit much to take but I don’t want to leave my church. Please help.

A. Unfortunately, many churches report behavior very similar to that which you’ve experienced among their members. Some people think that being saved by grace gives them the right to act in a rude or mean spirited manner without regard for the Lord’s command that we love one another because that’s how the world will know we’re His. (John 13:34-35)

Almost every church contains both believers and unbelievers and it’s impossible to tell one from another. Only the Lord knows that. But I personally feel that mean spirited people, saved or not, are demonstrating by their treatment of others the way they really feel about themselves. They can only feel good by making others feel bad. Trust me, their life is already a much worse punishment than anything we would wish for them. They have life without health, trials without triumph, and battles without victory. They need our prayers. You can rise above their jealousy by praying fervently for their forgiveness.

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