31 Bible Verses About Putting Others Down (with Explanations)

We live in a world where interactions are often colored by competition, comparison, and the temptation to elevate ourselves by putting others down. However, the Bible offers timeless wisdom that challenges this norm and calls us to a higher standard of love and respect for one another.

In the following collection of Bible verses about putting others down, we delve into the profound teachings that guide us towards a path of humility, kindness, and empathy in our relationships.

These scriptures serve as reminders of the transformative power of our words and actions, urging us to cultivate an atmosphere of encouragement, understanding, and mutual upliftment in our communities and beyond.

Also Read: Bible Verses About Legacy (With Explanations)

Bible Verses About Putting Others Down

Proverbs 14:21 (NIV)

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

In this proverb, the wisdom literature of Proverbs directs attention to the moral implications of despising one’s neighbor. It boldly labels such behavior as sinful, underscoring the gravity of harboring contempt or disdain for others.

The contrasting blessing associated with generosity to the poor accentuates the importance of positive, compassionate actions. This verse becomes a moral compass, guiding individuals away from the pitfalls of negativity and towards the virtue of benevolence.

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 offers a practical guideline for speech, urging believers to refrain from words that corrupt and tear down. The emphasis is on constructive communication that builds up and imparts grace to the listener.

This verse acknowledges the influential power of language, encouraging believers to be intentional in using their words for encouragement and edification. It underscores the Christian responsibility to contribute positively to the spiritual and emotional well-being of others through the spoken word.

James 4:11-12 (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 addresses the destructive nature of slander and judgment within the community of believers. The strong language used—speaking against the law—underscores the severity of such actions.

This passage challenges Christians to uphold the principles of love and unity, cautioning against behaviors that undermine the very essence of God’s law. It serves as a reminder that criticism and condemnation not only harm individuals but also disrupt the harmony and integrity of the Christian community.

Colossians 3:8 (ESV)

“But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.”

Colossians presents a comprehensive list of detrimental behaviors, including slander and obscene talk, that believers are instructed to discard. The imperative “put them all away” conveys a sense of urgency in eliminating these negative aspects from one’s life.

The emphasis on cleansing one’s speech suggests a transformative process in which believers actively work towards cultivating a positive, uplifting environment. This verse underscores the Christian journey towards spiritual growth and the abandonment of behaviors inconsistent with the teachings of Christ.

Matthew 7:1-2 (NIV)

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Matthew records Jesus’ explicit instruction on judgment, introducing the principle of reciprocity. This verse serves as a cautionary reminder of the interconnected nature of human judgment. It challenges believers to exercise humility and compassion, recognizing that the standards by which they judge others will be applied to them.

This teaching encourages a shift towards understanding and empathy, fostering a community characterized by mutual respect rather than condemnation.

Romans 14:13 (NIV)

“Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.”

In Romans, the apostle Paul addresses the destructive nature of passing judgment within the Christian community. The call to cease passing judgment is accompanied by a positive directive—to actively work towards creating an environment that supports rather than hinders one another.

This verse emphasizes personal responsibility in fostering an atmosphere of acceptance and encouragement. It encourages believers to be mindful of their actions, ensuring they contribute positively to the spiritual well-being of their fellow believers.

Proverbs 11:12 (ESV)

“Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent.”

Proverbs presents a stark contrast between one who belittles their neighbor and a person of understanding who chooses silence. The implication is that those who engage in demeaning behavior lack wisdom.

The verse prompts reflection on the value of restraint and the power of silence in interpersonal relationships.

It challenges individuals to cultivate understanding rather than engaging in harmful speech, emphasizing the importance of thoughtful communication for the sake of harmony and community well-being.

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.”

In this passage from Philippians, the apostle Paul sets a profound standard for interpersonal relationships. The emphasis on humility and selflessness challenges believers to go beyond merely avoiding negative behaviors; it calls them to actively prioritize the needs and interests of others.

This verse serves as a cornerstone for fostering a community marked by mutual care, respect, and genuine concern for the well-being of fellow believers.

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.”

Galatians outlines the fruit of the Spirit, emphasizing virtues that inherently contribute to positive, uplifting interactions. Focusing on qualities like kindness, forbearance, and gentleness, this passage provides a holistic framework for cultivating a spirit-led life.

When applied to relationships, it encourages believers to manifest these fruits, creating an environment where putting others down becomes incongruent with the Spirit’s transformative work.

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 this passage delves into the intricacies of harmonious relationships within the Christian community. It not only emphasizes virtues such as sympathy, love, and humility but challenges believers to respond to negativity with blessings.

This proactive approach to kindness and grace stands as a powerful countermeasure to the tendency to retaliate, promoting an atmosphere of understanding and reconciliation.

Matthew 5:44 (NIV)

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

In one of Jesus’ radical teachings from the Sermon on the Mount, he challenges believers to extend love even to their enemies. This profound instruction disrupts conventional expectations and calls for a transformative approach to interpersonal dynamics.

Applied to the theme of putting others down, it encourages believers not only to abstain from negative behavior but actively engage in acts of love and prayer, transcending animosity and promoting a culture of reconciliation.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

This verse from 1 Thessalonians captures the essence of positive, affirming relationships within the Christian community. It not only encourages believers to abstain from tearing others down but actively promotes the opposite—building each other up.

The emphasis on encouragement becomes a foundational principle for creating an atmosphere of mutual support and affirmation, fostering a community marked by positivity and constructive interactions.

Luke 6:27-28 (NIV)

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus extends the call to love even further by specifically addressing how believers should treat those who harbor hostility. The command to love enemies and perform acts of kindness challenges conventional norms.

Applied to the theme of putting others down, this teaching encourages believers not only to avoid negativity but actively engage in transformative acts of love and goodwill, reshaping the dynamics of their relationships.

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 the context of relationships within the Christian community, Romans 15 calls for a spirit of accommodation and mutual edification. The strong are exhorted to bear with the weak, emphasizing a patient and compassionate approach.

The overarching message is to prioritize the well-being of others over personal preferences, actively contributing to their growth and encouragement. This verse encourages believers to be mindful of the impact of their actions on those around them, promoting an atmosphere of collective upliftment.

Romans 12:10 (NIV)

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

In this concise yet powerful verse from Romans, believers are urged to cultivate a deep, selfless love within the Christian community. The call to be devoted and to honor others above oneself sets a high standard for interpersonal relationships.

The emphasis is on building a culture of mutual respect and consideration, fostering an environment where putting others down is incongruent with the devotion and honor expected among believers.

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.”

Known as the “Love Chapter,” 1 Corinthians 13 provides a comprehensive definition of love. Each characteristic described in this passage, from patience and kindness to humility and forgiveness, contributes to an environment where putting others down becomes antithetical to the very essence of love.

This verse encourages believers to embody these qualities, transforming their interactions into expressions of genuine, Christ-like love.

Proverbs 25:21-22 (NIV)

“If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.”

This proverbial wisdom from Proverbs introduces a radical concept of responding to negativity with acts of kindness. The metaphor of heaping burning coals suggests a transformative effect on the one who harbors ill feelings.

Applied to the theme of putting others down, this verse encourages believers not only to abstain from retaliation but to actively engage in benevolent actions, fostering an environment where negativity is met with unexpected grace and kindness.

Luke 10:27 (NIV)

“He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

In response to a question about the greatest commandment, Jesus provides a foundational principle for righteous living. The command to love God and love one’s neighbor becomes a guiding force for believers in their interactions.

When applied to putting others down, this verse underscores the importance of aligning our actions with the profound love of God and extending that love to our neighbors, creating an atmosphere of mutual respect and care.

Colossians 3:13 (NIV)

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

Colossians presents forgiveness as an essential component of Christian relationships. The call to bear with one another and forgive mirrors the divine forgiveness believers have received.

In the context of putting others down, this verse challenges believers to transcend the cycle of negativity through the transformative power of forgiveness. It promotes an environment where grievances are addressed with grace and understanding.

1 John 3:18 (NIV)

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

John’s epistle challenges believers to move beyond mere verbal expressions of love into tangible, action-oriented demonstrations.

Applied to the theme of putting others down, this verse encourages believers to translate their love into actions that uplift and affirm.

It sets a standard for a love that is not merely spoken but lived out, fostering an environment where positive actions speak louder than negative words.

James 3:17-18 (NIV)

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”

In James’ letter, the characteristics of heavenly wisdom are outlined, providing a template for virtuous living. The emphasis on peace-loving, considerate, and merciful attributes becomes a prescription for relationships free from the toxicity of putting others down.

This verse encourages believers to embody heavenly wisdom, actively contributing to an atmosphere of peace, understanding, and righteousness.

Proverbs 17:9 (NIV)

“Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”

Proverbs imparts wisdom on the preservation of love and friendship. This verse suggests that rather than dwelling on offenses or perpetuating negativity, fostering love involves a willingness to cover over transgressions.

It advocates for a spirit of forgiveness and discretion, discouraging behaviors that lead to the separation of close relationships. This verse prompts believers to prioritize unity and harmony over the perpetuation of discord.

Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV)

“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.'”

In response to Peter’s inquiry, Jesus introduces the concept of limitless forgiveness. This teaching challenges believers to transcend human limitations in forgiveness.

Applied to the theme of putting others down, this passage encourages believers to cultivate a heart of forgiveness that goes beyond mere tolerance.

Galatians 6:1 (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.”

Galatians outlines a framework for dealing with the failings of others within the Christian community. The emphasis on restoration and gentleness calls believers to approach those who may have fallen into sin with compassion rather than judgment.

In the context of putting others down, this verse encourages believers to be agents of restoration, contributing to an environment where constructive correction is carried out with love and humility.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Philippians presents a mental framework for believers, urging them to focus their thoughts on positive, virtuous qualities. This verse becomes a guide for cultivating a mindset that resists the inclination to put others down.

It encourages believers to fix their thoughts on qualities that uplift and inspire, fostering a mental environment that contributes to positive interactions and relationships.

Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)

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

Proverbs imparts practical wisdom on the power of words in diffusing conflict. This verse underscores the impact of gentle responses in averting anger and strife.

In the context of putting others down, it encourages believers to choose their words wisely, opting for gentleness over harshness.

This verse promotes an environment where communication is marked by understanding and consideration, preventing the escalation of negativity.

James 1:19-20 (NIV)

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”

James provides practical guidance for effective communication and conflict resolution. The call to be quick to listen and slow to speak aligns with the theme of avoiding putting others down.

This verse emphasizes the importance of patience and restraint in communication, promoting an atmosphere where anger is diffused, and righteousness is pursued.

Proverbs 16:24 (NIV)

“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

Proverbs offers a vivid metaphor highlighting the impact of gracious words. This verse suggests that positive and uplifting speech is not only pleasant but possesses healing qualities.

In the context of putting others down, it encourages believers to harness the power of gracious words, creating an environment where speech becomes a source of comfort and restoration.

1 Timothy 5:1-2 (NIV)

“Do not rebuke an older man harshly but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.”

In this pastoral guidance from 1 Timothy, Paul instructs Timothy on the appropriate manner of addressing different age groups within the Christian community.

The emphasis on respectful communication underscores the importance of treating others with dignity and honor, regardless of age or status.

Applied to the theme of putting others down, this verse encourages believers to cultivate an atmosphere of mutual respect, acknowledging the inherent value and worth of each individual within the community.

Matthew 5:9 (NIV)

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

In the Beatitudes, Jesus pronounces blessings on those who embody specific virtues. The declaration of blessing upon peacemakers underscores the significance of promoting harmony and reconciliation.

In the context of putting others down, this verse encourages believers to actively pursue peace, becoming agents of unity and understanding. It highlights the spiritual significance of contributing to an atmosphere where conflicts are resolved, and relationships are characterized by peace.

Romans 14:19 (NIV)

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

Romans addresses the diversity of beliefs within the Christian community and calls for a spirit of unity and mutual edification. This verse becomes a call to action, urging believers to actively engage in efforts that lead to peace and the building up of one another.

Applied to the theme of putting others down, it encourages believers to prioritize actions that contribute to a harmonious and uplifting environment, fostering a community marked by mutual support and growth.

Also Read: Notable Bible Verses About Legacy (With Explanations)

What Does The Bible Say About Putting Others Down?

The Bible contains numerous teachings that discourage the act of putting others down. Instead, it emphasizes principles centered around love, kindness, and respectful treatment of one another.

Here are key themes from the Bible regarding putting others down:

Love Your Neighbor: Jesus emphasized the commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39, NIV). This principle encourages believers to treat others with the same care, respect, and consideration that they desire for themselves.

Putting others down contradicts this fundamental commandment, as it goes against the essence of love.

Building Up, Not Tearing Down: Ephesians 4:29 (ESV) instructs believers, “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.”

This verse encourages speech that uplifts and encourages rather than tearing down. It promotes positive and constructive communication, fostering an atmosphere of grace and understanding.

The Golden Rule: The Golden Rule, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12, NIV), encapsulates the essence of treating others with kindness and fairness. Putting others down contradicts this principle, as it involves actions that one would not desire for oneself.

A Short Prayer Against Putting Others Down

Heavenly Father,

We come before you with humble hearts, recognizing the importance of love and respect in our interactions with others. Grant us the wisdom and strength to resist the temptation to put others down through our words or actions. Help us to see the inherent value and dignity in every person, created in your image.

Fill our hearts with compassion and understanding, Lord, so that we may always seek to uplift and encourage those around us. May our words be a source of healing and affirmation, rather than hurt and discouragement. Guide us in treating others with kindness and empathy, reflecting your love in all that we do.

Protect us from the pride and arrogance that often lead to tearing others down. Instead, instill in us a spirit of humility and grace, acknowledging our own faults and weaknesses while extending forgiveness and compassion to those around us.

Help us to remember the words of Jesus, who taught us to love one another as you have loved us. May we be instruments of your peace, spreading kindness and goodwill wherever we go.

In your mercy, hear our prayer, O Lord. Amen.