The online journal of Luke Dockery

Being the Bigger Person

“Being the bigger person” is a common enough expression, but it is a fairly uncommon practice in society as a whole (just pay attention to presidential campaigns!):

  • It means that if you have an ongoing feud with someone, you are the one who breaks the cycle of mistreatment and seeks the good of the other party.
  • It means that when you get in a fight or argument with someone, you apologize first.
  • It means that if someone hurts you or wrongs you in some way, you initiate the process of forgiveness even if they don’t ask it from you.
  • It means that when someone says something bad about you, you brush it off and don’t respond in kind.

Honestly, it is hard to be the bigger person. It takes a lot of maturity and self-control. In my years in ministry, I have found myself in multiple circumstances where I know that I’m in the right and someone else is in the wrong and I want nothing more than to respond to that other person in such a way that they will come to realize just exactly how right I am and how wrong they are!

And that’s when the bigger person thing comes into play.

Here’s the thing I eventually realized: if I want to follow Jesus Christ, I never get to not be the bigger person.

The teachings of Scripture are clear on this enough on this: love your enemy…turn the other cheek…forgive one another…as far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men…the list goes on and on.

The longer that I am a Christian, the more convinced I am that this is at the heart of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Always strive to be the bigger person.


  1. Mike Raine

    Christianity 101. Rubber meets the road Christianity. It is so easy to talk about issues that are not issues we have to deal with on a daily base. So practice but so difficult to live this lifestyle, it is Christ in you. Great article Luke, great life when we get beyond getting even.

    • Luke

      Thanks, Mike!

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