Russ Hobbs M.A
Pastor Professor Author Storyteller Broadcaster
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT INTIMIDATION?
When we use intimidation to gain control over another, it is wrong. Power intimidates, and those who’ve been granted power must use it to serve with humility (Matthew 20:26; Mark 10:43–44; We can intimidate others physically, mentally, and emotionally, using what we’ve been given to our own advantage. We may not stoop to physical aggression, but we can still intimidate others by name-dropping or veiled bragging. Second Corinthians 10:17–18 says, “‘Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.’ For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.”
Sadly, some church leaders practice a form of spiritual intimidation. Church leaders who demand submission to their authority, expect unquestioning loyalty, and enforce legalistic rules to control their congregations are abusing their position.
We are called to be bold as lions when on the side of righteousness (Proverbs 28:1). We should guard against undue intimidation by others, remembering that they are fallible human beings just like we are (Proverbs 29:23; Isaiah 2:11; 23:9). When feeling intimidated by unfamiliar situations or people, we remember that God is for us (Romans 8:31). The psalmist countered intimidation with these words: “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 118:6; cf. Jeremiah 42:11).