Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Ridicule. Have you ever experienced ridicule? It certainly is not an enjoyable experience to go through. Just to be certain that I was defining the word correctly, I looked it up and words such as sarcasm and outdowns were included in the definition. It also said that ridicule is laughing at someone in a devaluing way. Once the definition is out there, have you ever experienced ridicule? I remember being ridiculed in high school for being the only person in my class who went to church and Sunday school. They used to call me the pastor in high school and not in a valuing way. I was not included in the drinking parties in school because they knew my stand on drinking. Ridicule can isolate you from interacting with others because it really hurts emotionally to be put down.
Nehemiah experienced ridicule when he began to reveal what God had impressed upon him to do for Jerusalem and the exiles there. “But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. “What is this you are doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?” (Neh. 2:19). Ridicule has untruths embedded in the message. Nehemiah was not trying to rebel against the king. The king had sent him to do the work. He was seeking to obey what God wanted him to do. Ridicule can cause us to get off the track of God’s plan for our lives. The emotional pain and the feeling of being isolated from others is horrible. It can cause us to question whether it is worth it to continue down the path because of the emotional pain ridicule causes us.
The only answer to ridicule when it comes is to turn to God and seek His assurance for what He directed us to do in the first place. Nehemiah responded to those who ridiculed him by saying that God was giving him direction and that they had no part in His plan. It’s getting strength from the Lord to move forward when all our body is saying “give up”. Moving through ridicule and staying on the path can be the most rewarding experience of life, but it will be a painful journey going through it.
On this journey we have to stay the course even though we are hurting emotionally due to sarcasm and ridicule.
Great article! I can identify with this as a friend and I recently felt God calling us to plan an event in the church that would be new and different for the women to bring about connection and taking people out of their comfort zones. It was a big success, but when the ridicule and criticisms came before and closer to the event, we kept our eyes on God, his purposes, and not on circumstances…Isaiah 43:18-19