It’s easy to become weary in doing good when the culture around us increasingly mocks what we hold dear. However, David Wheaton points out that believers being mocked and ridiculed for their faith is nothing new — in fact, it goes back to the beginning of humanity itself.
“Just remember there’s always been this pandemic in the heart of God-rejecting man to reject God. From the very beginning, Satan fell, he rejected God, so this is not new.”
“Christians need to really think about the best way to respond to this. Should we lash out? Should we correct people? What’s the best step?”
When considering our best response to some one who’s mocking God, David says there are some key scriptures to keep in mind, including two side-by-side instructions in Proverbs 26:4-5.
“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.”
“Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.”
He unpacks these instructions a little further,
“It seems like it’s saying two different things but we can understand this particular passage together to say: a fool should not be answered with agreement to his own ideas or he will think he’s right, but rather he should be rebuked on the basis of his folly, in showing the truth so he sees how foolish it is.”
“We need to be really careful when we are answering mockers and ridiculers, but we need to respond with truth and grace. The truth needs to be there, but the grace needs to be there as well. Grace is always seeking the best for someone else. We respond to correct the record and say what the truth is, but we do it with grace in order to see God’s working that person’s life that it can actually turn out for good for that person.”
Our example is Christ was completely innocent, yet people openly reviled and ridiculed Him. How did He handle that pressure?
“It seems like this would be the hardest thing to do, because there’s really not much response to ridicule. When you’re being laughed at, really scorned, it’s one of the most powerful forms of putting someone down. When Christ was hanging from the cross, He said “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.”
“This is the highest, most sanctified point of being a believer, when you can come to that place in your life when you’re being mocked and ridiculed, and you can respond like Jesus. When you can forgive your enemies in this way, you are being fully controlled by the Holy Spirit (because it’s the opposite of what our natural response wants to be).”
David Wheaton is a radio host, and former professional tennis player. He is the author of University of Destruction: Your Game Plan for Spiritual Victory on Campus and MMy Boy, Ben: A Story of Love, Loss and Grace. In addition, David is a contributing columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and a sought-after speaker.