30+ Bible Verses About Bullying (with Explanation)

Bullying, a pervasive issue in various societal contexts, transcends age, gender, and social boundaries, leaving a trail of emotional and psychological scars. Although the term may not find explicit mention in the Bible, its underlying principles resonate with the teachings of Scripture.

As we delve into the topic of bullying, we explore the profound wisdom the Bible offers, guiding individuals on how to navigate conflicts, foster unity, and respond with love. In this exploration, we discover timeless principles that, when applied, contribute to creating communities marked by compassion, empathy, and the transformative power of Christ’s love.

Also Read: Bible Verses About Success (With Commentary)

Bible Verses About Bullying

Proverbs 14:21 (ESV)

Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor.

Bullying often stems from a place of despising others. This verse from Proverbs highlights the sinfulness of such behavior. Instead of harboring ill will, the Bible encourages believers to embrace generosity and kindness, emphasizing the importance of treating others with compassion and respect.

This proverb underscores the moral gravity of despising one’s neighbor. The act of bullying is not just a simple disagreement or a harmless prank; it is a manifestation of a sinful heart. By contrasting the negative action with the positive act of generosity, the verse guides believers toward a more virtuous path. It encourages us to actively seek opportunities to bless others, fostering an environment of goodwill rather than animosity.

Matthew 5:9 (NIV)

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

This verse from the Gospel of Matthew echoes the teachings of Jesus, emphasizing the value of peacemaking. In the context of bullying, being a peacemaker involves actively working to resolve conflicts and promote harmony. The promise of being called children of God serves as an incentive for believers to pursue peace in their interactions with others.

Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, sets a high standard for his followers by calling them to be peacemakers. In the context of bullying, this verse challenges believers to take a proactive role in diffusing conflicts and promoting reconciliation. By aligning oneself with the pursuit of peace, individuals can reflect the character of God and contribute to a more compassionate and understanding community.

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

The fruit of the Spirit, as outlined in Galatians, provides a comprehensive guide for how believers should interact with others. Love, kindness, and gentleness stand in direct opposition to the destructive nature of bullying, serving as a reminder of the transformative power of a life led by the Spirit.

This passage from Galatians provides a holistic view of the qualities that should characterize the lives of believers. When facing situations of bullying, individuals are encouraged to draw upon the fruit of the Spirit. By cultivating love, kindness, and self-control, believers can resist the temptation to engage in harmful behavior and, instead, become agents of positive change in their relationships and communities.

Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Ephesians 4:29 provides clear guidance on the importance of words in our interactions. In the context of bullying, this verse challenges believers to use their words for building up rather than tearing down, emphasizing the power of speech in shaping the well-being of others.

The words we speak hold significant weight, and this verse from Ephesians emphasizes the responsibility believers have in their communication. When faced with the temptation to engage in bullying behavior through harmful words, individuals are called to consider the impact of their speech. By choosing words that build up and impart grace, believers contribute to an atmosphere of encouragement and support, countering the negative effects of bullying.

1 John 4:20-21 (NIV)

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

In the context of bullying, this passage from 1 John highlights the inconsistency of claiming to love God while harboring hatred or engaging in harmful behavior towards others. It reinforces the connection between loving God and expressing that love through positive and compassionate relationships with fellow human beings.

This passage from 1 John confronts believers with the stark reality of their relationships. It challenges the notion that one can genuinely love God while simultaneously harboring hatred for others. In the face of bullying, individuals are called to examine the authenticity of their love for God by extending that love to their neighbors. The command to love is not a mere suggestion but a fundamental aspect of the Christian life, and it serves as a powerful antidote to the destructive nature of bullying.

Colossians 3:12-14 (ESV)

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.

This passage from Colossians instructs believers to cultivate a character marked by compassion, kindness, and forgiveness. In the context of bullying, it emphasizes the importance of bearing with one another and extending forgiveness, mirroring the forgiveness believers have received from the Lord.

The call to “put on” these virtues implies an intentional and active choice in adopting a Christlike character. When faced with situations of bullying, individuals are reminded of their identity as God’s chosen ones and are called to reflect God’s grace and forgiveness. By embracing compassion, humility, and love, believers contribute to the harmonious unity of the body of Christ, counteracting the divisive impact of bullying.

Proverbs 22:10 (NIV)

Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended.

Proverbs 22:10 provides practical wisdom regarding the expulsion of negative influences. In the context of bullying, it encourages believers to take decisive action against those who engage in mocking, quarreling, and insulting behavior, recognizing the potential for harm that such actions can cause.

This proverb acknowledges the destructive nature of mockery and insults, highlighting the impact of negative influences on relationships and communities. In addressing bullying, the verse encourages believers to take a stand against such behavior, recognizing that removing the mocker can bring an end to strife. By promoting an environment free from mockery, individuals contribute to the cultivation of peace and unity.

Psalm 34:14 (NIV)

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Psalm 34:14 provides a concise directive for believers when faced with the presence of evil. In the context of bullying, it encourages individuals to actively turn away from harmful behavior, choose to do good, and actively pursue peace in their relationships.

This Psalm serves as a guide for believers in navigating situations where bullying may be prevalent. The call to “turn from evil and do good” is a proactive stance against engaging in harmful actions. Seeking and pursuing peace underscores the importance of actively working towards harmonious relationships, contributing to an atmosphere where bullying has no place.

Romans 12:17-18 (NIV)

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.

The apostle Paul, in Romans 12, provides practical guidance on responding to wrongdoing. In the context of bullying, believers are instructed not to retaliate with evil but to prioritize doing what is right and actively pursuing peace with everyone.

This passage acknowledges the inevitability of conflicts but emphasizes the believer’s responsibility to respond with integrity and a commitment to peace. In the face of bullying, individuals are challenged to resist the temptation to repay evil with evil, instead focusing on actions that promote righteousness and the pursuit of peace. Living at peace with others is presented as a shared responsibility, calling believers to contribute to a harmonious community.

Luke 6:31 (ESV)

And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus articulates the Golden Rule, a principle that encourages believers to treat others as they would like to be treated. In the context of bullying, this verse serves as a foundational ethical guideline for interpersonal relationships.

The Golden Rule encapsulates the essence of ethical behavior in human interactions. In the face of bullying, this principle challenges individuals to consider how they would want to be treated and extend the same kindness and respect to others. By applying this simple yet profound rule, believers contribute to a culture of empathy and understanding, diminishing the prevalence and impact of bullying within their communities.

Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

This passage from Philippians underscores the importance of humility and selflessness in our interactions with others. In the context of bullying, it challenges believers to prioritize the well-being of others above their own interests, fostering an environment where selfishness gives way to genuine care and concern.

Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians serves as a powerful antidote to the root causes of bullying. By discouraging selfish ambition and promoting humility, the passage encourages believers to view others with value and dignity. In a world where bullying often arises from a desire for personal gain or status, this teaching calls for a radical shift in perspective—one that places the needs and interests of others at the forefront.

James 3:9-10 (NIV)

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it, we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

James addresses the inconsistency of using the same tongue to praise God and curse fellow human beings. In the context of bullying, this passage highlights the incongruity of expressing love for God while engaging in harmful speech and actions toward others.

The connection between our words and our treatment of others is a central theme in this passage. When faced with the issue of bullying, individuals are challenged to align their speech and actions with the love they profess for God. By recognizing the inherent value of every person as being made in God’s likeness, believers are called to use their words to build up and affirm rather than to tear down and curse.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

The famous “love chapter” in 1 Corinthians provides a comprehensive description of love. In the context of bullying, these verses offer a blueprint for the kind of love believers should aspire to cultivate in their relationships.

This passage is a profound reminder that love, as defined by Scripture, stands in stark contrast to the behaviors associated with bullying. Love is patient and kind, seeking the well-being of others. It rejects pride, selfishness, and anger, promoting a spirit of forgiveness and understanding. When individuals choose to embody the qualities of love outlined here, the prevalence and impact of bullying diminish as a culture of genuine care and compassion takes root.

Romans 15:1-2 (NIV)

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.

In Romans, Paul addresses the responsibility of the strong to support the weak. In the context of bullying, this passage calls for a posture of understanding and support rather than exploiting the vulnerabilities of others.

This verse challenges the prevailing mindset that might makes right. Instead, it calls for those who are strong—whether emotionally, socially, or otherwise—to use their strength for the benefit of others. In the context of bullying, believers are encouraged to bear with the failings of the weak, fostering an environment where everyone is supported and built up. By embracing this principle, individuals contribute to the dismantling of power dynamics that often underlie acts of bullying.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV)

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

This short but powerful verse from 1 Thessalonians emphasizes the importance of mutual encouragement and edification among believers. In the context of bullying, it serves as a call to actively promote positive and uplifting interactions within the community.

Paul’s words to the Thessalonians highlight the ongoing nature of encouragement and building one another up. In the face of bullying, believers are called to be intentional in fostering an atmosphere of support. By consistently encouraging others, individuals contribute to a community where negativity and harm find no fertile ground, ultimately reducing the prevalence of bullying and promoting a culture of affirmation and growth.

Matthew 18:15-17 (NIV)

“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”

In Matthew 18, Jesus provides a structured approach for addressing conflicts within the community of believers. In the context of bullying, this passage emphasizes the importance of resolving issues directly and, if necessary, involving others to bring about reconciliation.

This passage outlines a process for addressing conflicts that, if followed, can prevent the escalation of bullying within the Christian community. By promoting open communication and accountability, believers can work towards resolving issues before they fester into more significant problems. The ultimate goal is reconciliation, and the structured approach outlined by Jesus serves as a framework for addressing and rectifying instances of bullying.

1 Peter 3:8-9 (NIV)

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

Peter’s exhortation in 1 Peter encourages believers to cultivate a mindset of unity and compassion. In the context of bullying, it challenges individuals to resist the urge to retaliate with evil but instead respond with blessings, trusting in the ultimate blessing promised to those who follow Christ.

This passage echoes the teachings of Jesus and the apostles, reinforcing the call to love and bless even in the face of mistreatment. In the context of bullying, believers are reminded that their conduct should reflect the character of Christ. By responding to evil with blessings, individuals contribute to a transformative dynamic, breaking the cycle of negativity and fostering an environment where the principles of compassion and humility prevail.

Galatians 6:1-2 (NIV)

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:1-2 addresses the responsibility of believers to restore those who have fallen into sin. In the context of bullying, it calls for a compassionate and gentle approach to correction, with the aim of bringing about restoration and healing.

This passage emphasizes the importance of a supportive community that comes alongside individuals who may be engaged in harmful behavior. In addressing bullying, the call to restore gently underscores the redemptive nature of correction. Believers are encouraged to carry one another’s burdens, recognizing the potential for anyone to stumble, and in doing so, fulfill the law of Christ by embodying a spirit of love and restoration.

Luke 10:25-37 (NIV) – The Parable of the Good Samaritan

“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.”

In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus illustrates the compassionate response to someone in need. In the context of bullying, this parable challenges believers to actively care for those who have been harmed, demonstrating a love that goes beyond mere words.

The Good Samaritan’s actions serve as a powerful example of love in action. In the context of bullying, this parable challenges believers to be proactive in caring for those who have been mistreated. It goes beyond the passive avoidance shown by the priest and the Levite, illustrating the call to actively engage with and support those who are suffering. By emulating the compassion of the Good Samaritan, believers contribute to a community characterized by empathy, care, and healing.

2 Timothy 2:24-25 (NIV)

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.

In 2 Timothy, Paul instructs Timothy on the qualities of a servant of the Lord. In the context of bullying, this passage calls for a demeanor of kindness, patience, and a commitment to teaching and reconciliation, even with opponents.

This passage sets a high standard for the conduct of those who serve the Lord. In the face of bullying or conflict, believers are called to embody kindness and avoid a quarrelsome spirit. The emphasis on gentle instruction and the hope for repentance underscores the redemptive nature of Christian relationships. Rather than seeking retaliation, the Lord’s servant is called to be an instrument of reconciliation, patiently guiding others toward the knowledge of truth.

Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 6:12 provides a spiritual perspective on the challenges believers face. In the context of bullying, it encourages individuals to recognize the spiritual dimension of conflicts and to approach them with spiritual weapons such as prayer, love, and the armor of God.

This verse reminds believers that the root of many conflicts, including bullying, is not merely a human issue but involves spiritual forces at play. By understanding the spiritual battle, individuals can approach situations with discernment, relying on the strength of God’s armor to combat the darkness that may be influencing negative behaviors. This perspective encourages believers to engage in prayer and spiritual warfare as they address instances of bullying.

Romans 14:19 (NIV)

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

In Romans 14, Paul emphasizes the importance of pursuing peace and building one another up in the faith. In the context of bullying, this verse calls believers to actively seek paths that lead to reconciliation and the growth of the entire community.

Paul’s exhortation to make every effort underscores the intentional nature of pursuing peace. In situations involving bullying, believers are called to be proactive in fostering an environment where conflicts are resolved, and individuals are built up rather than torn down. The emphasis on mutual edification highlights the interconnectedness of the body of believers, reinforcing the idea that the actions of one impact the well-being of all.

James 4:11 (NIV)

Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.

James warns against slander and judgment within the community of believers. In the context of bullying, this verse discourages the use of harmful speech and emphasizes the importance of upholding the principles of love and respect.

Slander and judgment are often at the heart of bullying behavior. James calls believers to a higher standard by urging them to refrain from speaking against one another. The warning against judging others emphasizes the importance of humility and recognizing that, in doing so, individuals are not keeping the law of love. By refraining from slander and judgment, believers contribute to an atmosphere of trust and respect within the community.

John 13:34-35 (NIV)

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”

In the Gospel of John, Jesus issues a new commandment centered on love. In the context of bullying, this command challenges believers to embody Christ’s love, serving as a distinctive marker of their discipleship.

This command to love one another echoes throughout the New Testament and serves as a foundational principle for Christian living. In the face of bullying, the call to love as Christ loved presents a powerful remedy. When individuals commit to expressing love in their interactions, they not only counteract the negative effects of bullying but also provide a compelling witness to the transformative power of Christ’s love.

1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Paul’s instruction in 1 Corinthians highlights the comprehensive nature of living for God’s glory. In the context of bullying, it challenges believers to evaluate their actions and interactions through the lens of bringing glory to God.

Every aspect of life, including how individuals respond to bullying or conflict, is to be directed toward the glory of God. This verse encourages believers to approach situations with a mindset of honoring God, promoting actions and attitudes that reflect the character of Christ. By aligning their responses with the pursuit of God’s glory, individuals contribute to an atmosphere where bullying is replaced by behaviors that honor and reflect the love of God.

1 John 3:16-18 (NIV)

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

The Apostle John challenges believers to move beyond mere words and actively demonstrate love through self-sacrificial actions. In the context of bullying, this passage underscores the call to intervene and support those who are vulnerable, embodying the sacrificial love of Christ.

The sacrificial love of Christ serves as the ultimate example, and believers are called to emulate this love in their relationships. In the face of bullying, the passage challenges individuals not to turn a blind eye but to actively engage with the needs of others. Love, in this context, is not passive; it is a force that compels believers to take meaningful action to alleviate the suffering of those who are being mistreated.

Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 15:1 provides practical wisdom on the power of words in defusing conflict. In the context of bullying, it emphasizes the importance of responding with gentleness rather than contributing to the escalation of anger.

This proverb speaks directly to the dynamics of communication in the face of conflict, including instances of bullying. The choice of a gentle answer is presented as a powerful tool for de-escalation. When faced with aggression or hostility, responding with gentleness has the potential to disarm anger and create space for understanding. This principle can guide believers in navigating conversations and interactions where the risk of bullying behavior is present.

Philippians 2:5 (NIV)

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.

Paul challenges believers in Philippians to adopt the mindset of Christ in their relationships. In the context of bullying, this verse encourages individuals to approach interactions with humility, selflessness, and a commitment to serving others.

The call to have the same mindset as Christ is a transformative directive. In the face of bullying, individuals are prompted to consider how Christ would approach the situation. Humility, selflessness, and a willingness to serve become guiding principles. By consciously adopting the mindset of Christ, believers contribute to an atmosphere where conflicts are approached with grace and the well-being of others is prioritized.

Psalm 133:1 (NIV)

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!

The psalmist celebrates the beauty of unity among God’s people. In the context of bullying, this verse highlights the positive impact of harmonious relationships within the Christian community.

Unity is presented as a source of goodness and pleasantness. In the fight against bullying, fostering unity becomes a collective responsibility. When individuals within the community actively work towards living together in harmony, the prevalence and impact of bullying diminish. Unity stands as both a goal and a means to create an environment where love, respect, and mutual support thrive.

Colossians 4:6 (NIV)

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Paul instructs the Colossians on the importance of gracious speech in their interactions. In the context of bullying, this verse encourages believers to engage in conversations with grace, avoiding hurtful words and fostering an atmosphere of understanding.

The imagery of speech seasoned with salt suggests words that are not only gracious but also impactful and beneficial. In the face of bullying, individuals are called to communicate in a way that uplifts and edifies, contributing to a positive and constructive exchange. Gracious speech reflects the character of Christ and plays a crucial role in preventing the escalation of conflicts and fostering an environment where everyone feels valued and heard.

Also Read: Bible Verses About Sports (with Explanation)

What Does the Bible Say About Bullying

Love Your Neighbor (Matthew 22:39, NIV) “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

This command, given by Jesus, emphasizes the importance of love in our interactions with others. Bullying, which often involves harmful actions and words, contradicts the principle of love. As followers of Christ, believers are called to treat others with kindness, empathy, and respect.

Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12, NIV) “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

The Golden Rule encourages believers to consider how they would want to be treated and apply that standard to their interactions with others. This principle directly challenges the harmful and hurtful behavior associated with bullying.

Overcoming Evil with Good (Romans 12:21, NIV) “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Rather than responding to bullying with retaliation or further negativity, believers are encouraged to overcome evil with acts of kindness, forgiveness, and love. This approach aligns with the transformative power of Christ’s teachings.

A Prayer Against Bullying

Heavenly Father,

In Your presence, we gather with heavy hearts, aware of the pain caused by the scourge of bullying in our communities. Your Word teaches us to love one another, to be peacemakers, and to treat others with kindness. Today, we lift up those who have suffered the wounds of bullying, seeking Your comfort, healing, and strength.

Lord, grant us the courage to stand against the darkness that fuels bullying. May Your love be our guiding light, leading us to respond with kindness, compassion, and empathy. Give us the wisdom to be instruments of Your peace, fostering understanding and reconciliation in the face of conflict.

Lord, empower us to be beacons of Your light, shining brightly in our schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods. May we contribute to a culture of respect, understanding, and unity. Let Your love be evident in all our interactions, breaking the chains of bullying and fostering an atmosphere where everyone feels valued and protected.

In Jesus’ name, we pray.