Tag Archives: insecurity

The Passive Aggressive Christian

Passive aggressive









Behind the smile, a hidden knife!” – Ancient Chinese proverb


“Passive-aggressive behavior is a pattern of indirectly expressing negative feelings instead of openly addressing them. There’s a disconnect between what a passive-aggressive person says and what he or she does.” (Mayo Clinic), and from Preston Ni, M.S.B.A, “In short, passive aggressiveness is anger, hostility, and/or learned helplessness in disguise, expressed in a covert, underhanded way to “even the score,” and with the hope of “getting away with it.” The perceived payoffs for the passive-aggressive are greater power, control, and negative emotional satisfaction.”

Confession time! I have difficulty dealing with people’s passive-aggressive personalities. My biggest downfalls in life have come as a result of not knowing how to address passive-aggressive persons (PA). In reaction to their behaviour I unknowingly responded in ways that make PA’s even angrier and more empowered.

There is never a need to be chronically passive-aggressive if your identity is deeply rooted in who God says you are. Having a passive-aggressive temperament is an outright sin; it is a major character flaw. The thoughts and behaviours of this type of personality are in conflict with how we are called to behave as Christians. As followers of Christ, a person can’t live a life of covert negative feelings that fuel an M.O. for intentionally hurting others. The passive-aggressive personality doesn’t align with the fruits of the spirit and never produces a community that consists of the types of relationships encouraged by St. Paul in his letters to the early Christians.

For those who are P.A., I encourage you to find healthy ways to process and express your frustrations and feelings of insecurity. The outcomes will be healthier relationships with others, a life of integrity, less internalized stress, and development of a more Christ-like character.

The spirit of the LORD brings freedom, the spirit of passive-aggressiveness brings bondage.

To experience the healing power offered by God, one has to be willing to be brave enough to be vulnerable in expressing how they feel in a manner that is not intended to undermine and hurt others.

Passive aggressive ahead!

For those on the receiving end of malice, stay emotionally strong. Understand that you are never the cause of another person’s inability to communicate in a healthy way. A Passive-aggressive personality is often rooted in unresolved issues stemming from childhood (0-17) where, either directly or indirectly caregivers reinforced the lesson that one is not to express their anger for fear of the consequences of doing so.

Spiritual Responses

  • Pray for discernment and wisdom on how and when to address passive-aggressive personalities.
  • Ask God to give you the emotional strength to not give into their behaviour and risk becoming like them.
  • Most importantly, pray for the person to experience the healing power that only God can provide to such wounded people because these types of issues are more than a personality conflict; it is a spiritual battle.

Are you Passive-Aggressive? Unsure of whether or not you are dealing with a Passive-Aggressive person?

Below are some resources to help you recognize and deal with passive-aggressive people


What it looks like: (Source: Preston Ni, M.S.B.A.)

Below are four categories of passive aggression:

Disguised Verbal Hostility. Negative gossip. Sarcasm. Veiled hostile joking — often followed by “just kidding.” Repetitive teasing. Negative orientation. Habitual criticism of ideas, solutions, conditions, and expectations.

Disguised Relational Hostility. The silent treatment. The invisible treatment. Social exclusion. Neglect. Backstabbing. Two faced. Mixed messages. Deliberate button pushing. Negative or discomforting surprises. Overspending. Sullen resentment. Indirectly hurting something or someone of importance to the targeted person.

Disguised Task Hostility. Procrastination. Stalling. Forgetting. Stonewalling. Withholding resources or information. Professional exclusion. Denying personal responsibility. Excuse making. Blaming. Broken agreements. Lack of follow through. Resistance. Stubbornness. Rigidity. Avoidance. Inefficiency, complication, incompletion or ruination of task.

Hostility Towards Others Through Self-Punishment (“I’ll show YOU”). Quitting. Deliberate failure. Exaggerated or imagined health issues. Victimhood. Dependency. Addiction. Self-harm. Deliberate weakness to elicit sympathy and favor.








The Blessing of: Humility instead of low self-esteem


One Word 365

The Blessing of Humility Instead of Low Self-Esteem! 

(Jeremiah. ix. 22-23).

Let not the wise man glorify himself in his wisdom, neither let the strong man glorify himself in his might, let not the rich glorify himself in his riches: but let him that glorifieth himself glorify in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am God who exercises love, justice, and righteousness.

“True humility is not a result of an undervaluation of one’s talents and accomplishments. Such is a false humility, for it is built on a false foundation. Rather, the truly humble individual is keenly aware of all his (or her) strengths and qualities—but simultaneously recognizes that all these talents are G‑d-given, and therefore do not constitute a reason to feel superior to another whom G‑d has not bequeathed such talents.” (Source: Naftali Silberberg from Chabad.org)

Low self-esteem is about yourself while humility is about God.

UC Davis Medical Center describes low self-esteem as such: “What is low self-esteem? Low self-esteem is a debilitating condition that keeps individuals from realizing their full potential. A person with low self-esteem feels unworthy, incapable, and incompetent. In fact, because the person with low self-esteem feels so poorly about him or herself, these feelings may actually cause the person’s continued low self-esteem.”

From the Jewish Encyclopedia, “The prophet (Jeremiah) does not consider it sinful for man to rejoice in his achievements so long as he recognizes that all blessings flow from God, that they are all gifts of God. Riches, strength, and wisdom are nothing without God.”

Feelings of unworthiness, incapability and incompetence are not from God; they are rooted in the seeds we plant in our own minds. How do these unhealthy feelings get there? We place them there every time we tell ourselves lies about who we are as God’s creation. Humility doesn’t allow us to focus on ourselves; instead, we turn the focus to God and say, all that I am and all that I do, and all that I have is from God and because of God.

In my life I’ve had a number of insecure Christians cause stumbling blocks in my life because of their insistence on changing my understanding of my gifts, talents, and accomplishments from a humble outlook to that of low self-esteem. They were killing me softly with misused scripture.

Humility not insecurity

If you have accomplishments that you’ve work hard for, gifts that you’ve developed into talents, and a life that you enjoy, don’t be afraid to shout,” THANK YOU LORD FOR ALL THAT I AM, ALL THAT I DO AND ALL THAT I HAVE!”. Humility doesn’t have to be a sad experience.

I make awesome carrot cake with vanilla cream cheese icing. I’m not afraid to say so because I don’t criticise other people’s carrot cake or compare mine to that of others; I simply enjoy the process of making the cake and sharing it with guests. This is the peace and beauty of humility; you get to enjoy what you do because you aren’t busy entertaining a low self-esteem.

humility mother theresa


Are there things that you do or have accomplished that you haven’t been able to enjoy because low self-esteem has taken the place of humility?

Are you more comfortable with having a low self-esteem rather than humility?


Hand over your insecurities and low self-esteem to God in prayer. Ask Him to help you replace unhealthy feelings with that of humility.

Become more conscious of comparison. When you feel yourself engaging in comparison, STOP and thank God for the gifts and abilities he has given you. Over time you will find that you’ve decreased the amount of times you engage in comparison.

May you have plenty to be humble about and may God continue to bless you!