The Difference between a Gentleman and a Bully


(If you missed last week’s post, see Silencing the Voice in our Heads and Listening to the Voice in our Hearts.

I’ve been thinking this week how that insidious voice never really goes completely away. With God’s help, we can deal with it and squash it for the moment. But, apparently the pesky thing lives in the wings of our life stage, watching and waiting to once again make an appearance in our heads. If we forget God’s truth for one moment, the intruder can butt in and steal not only the scene but our joy, as well.  

For example, the negative, accusing voice in my head invariably tells me what a mess I am, almost rendering me helpless—if not hopeless. After all these years, you would think I would immediately recognize and denounce the enemy’s lies. But, too often the loud, obnoxious voice in my head drowns out the truth of God’s quiet voice in my heart.

Is it possible to tell the difference between the two voices before it’s too late to redeem the moment? Perhaps so, if we remember the difference between a gentleman and a bully. Webster defines a gentleman as a well-bred or polite man. A bully is defined as one who hurts or intimidates weaker or smaller people.

Jay and Liz eating in Polish restaurant

The Welshes on mission in Poland

When I met my husband at the University of Georgia, I was attracted to him. Sure, he was handsome but the quality that most impressed me was his manners. In fact, his whole fraternity made it a practice to stand up when a female walked into the room. I know you can’t believe that, but it’s the truth. By the way, the girls loved it. After 55 years, my husband still opens the door for me and treats me with respect. And I still love it.

You’ve heard the story of how to tell the difference between real and counterfeit money. You study the real thing until you’re able to immediately recognize the flawed bill. In the same way, the more we study the truth of God’s voice, the quicker we’ll be able to discern the lies of the enemy.

Our Lord is a gentleman. His voice guides, corrects and encourages us. That other voice is the voice of a bully. It misleads, intimidates and belittles us.

Consider the difference between a gentleman and a bully:

  • A gentleman is kind and puts others needs above his own.
  • A bully is mean-spirited and elevates himself above others.
  • A gentleman controls his strength and uses it for the good of others.
  • A bully has no self-control and uses his strength to hurt others.
  • A gentleman speaks the truth in love to encourage and guide others.
  • A bully is ruthless and lies to further his own agenda.
  • A gentleman is trustworthy and is motivated by truth.
  • A bully is reprehensible in nature and behavior.

So, don’t listen to the bully in your head! Instead, listen for God’s voice in your heart. He makes Himself known to us through His Son and the truth of His Word. And through His Son, the God of the universe quietly stands at the door of our heart and knocks. He will not force Himself upon us. But He does offer a condition with a promise.

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”


Is God knocking on the door of your heart? Do you hear His voice? If so, invite Him in, not as a guest but as Lord of the manor. Invite Him to fill every room in your heart, your life and your circumstances. Remember, He is the ultimate gentleman and you can trust Him. He will always be faithful and will never leave you. That’s a promise! He is the voice of truth.


What has God taught you about listening to His voice?

woman on computer


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