Standing up to an Antagonist


How do you deal with antagonists? One answer is found in this text.

Antagonism is a reality. It leaves in its wake broken lives and people who are hurt, discouraged and apathetic. Antagonism is a real phenomenon that seems to be a growing reality in our society. A leader asked how to respond to an antagonist in his church. My response was that the destructive behavior could not be ignored or tolerated. The antagonist in his church had run off members, disheartened the pastor and threatened the effectiveness of the church in the community. For this leader, it was time for courageous action. 

The reason an antagonist continues to demonstrate destructive behavior is that they have never been held accountable for their hurtful behavior. One of my hypotheses is that antagonists “have gotten away” with their bad behavior as a child, teen and adult because no one called corrected or stopped him/her. Further, they will continue in their antagonist behavior until someone courageously stands against them. A powerful quote that a friend of mine has used states, “unchallenged behavior goes unchanged.”

Due to our desire, as Christians, to act in a loving manner we tend to tolerate bad behavior. Perhaps the best demonstration of love is discipline properly dispensed. Question: How do you deal with antagonists? How did Jesus respond to antagonists?

Written by Jay Vineyard

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