How should I respond if my unchangeable features prompt ridicule?
We’ve all felt the sting of ridicule. Observant children do not hesitate to bring embarrassing features into the spotlight. Bullies use words as weapons of intimidation. Spiteful teasing from friends and family members cuts away at our confidence.
Whatever the source, ridicule of unchangeable features can bring a lot of hurt. To find healing from verbal wounds, we should respond with humility and grace and find comfort in God’s all-wise design.
Humble Yourself and Receive Grace
Mockery of things over which your have no control is an outward attack that brings inward humbling. At the very moment when you embrace humility, God provides the most important ingredient for achieving success, happiness, and fruitfulness in the Christian life. He gives grace. “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6).
Receive God’s grace so that bitterness does not take root in your heart, thus damaging yourself and others around you. (See Hebrews 12:15.)
Offer a silent prayer to God: “Heavenly Father, thank you for the way you created me. Thank you for giving me an extra measure of your grace in this moment. I receive your grace, which enables me forgive those who mock what you have made, see deeper truths from your Word, and become more like your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.”
Bless Those Who Ridicule You
Mockery is often a symptom of the mocker’s rejection of God’s design for his own life and his feelings of inferiority. Considering these needs can help you respond to ridicule with genuine love.
God’s Word teaches us to bless those who mock us: “Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing” (I Peter 3:8–9).
By communicating God’s love and acceptance of a person who ridicules you, you can bless him. Look him in the eye and offer a sincere smile. Overcome the hurt and anger you may feel by accepting God’s grace. Pray for your offender. Speak blessings into his life. Remember the following Scriptures:
- “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not” (Romans 12:14).
- “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matthew 5:11–12).
Appreciate God’s Design in Your Life
Those who mock someone’s physical design are not mocking the person as much as they are mocking the creator God. He is the One Who prescribes our features before birth. “Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the Lord?” (Exodus 4:11).
“Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay…?” (Romans 9:20–21).
Instead of mocking God’s design, we should respect it and embrace it. Even when others do not understand the significance of God’s design, we can find security in God’s promise to work all things together for good. (See Romans 8:28.)
“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:14–16).
“We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
“He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
This information is adapted from pages 123–124 of the Basic Seminar Follow-Up Course.