Making Others Feel Foolish for Their Beliefs
In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions. It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. Jude 1:18-19
When we first got married, my wife and I decided that we were going to raise our kids without alcohol in the house. She didn’t drink at all and though I did drink some, I imagined that getting married and having kids would naturally stop that. I was, of course, dead wrong. As my opioid use grew, my alcohol consumption also increased. At the time, our kids were too young to develop any concept of alcohol, so I changed my mind about keeping it in the house. My wife did not. Though she was unaware of my opioid use, she could see me becoming more liberal with my alcohol use. I gradually became resentful of her stance on alcohol. I tried, without much success, to make her feel legalistic and old fashioned. I even tried to get her to drink. Basically, I attempted to make her feel foolish for sticking to her beliefs. I was the fool though.
This is unfortunately our nature. If we’re indulging in a behavior that others think is wrong, we may try to humiliate or disgrace those who would make us feel shame for our behavior. Once we’ve committed to something that we don’t see as evil, we feel we must attack the beliefs of anyone who would oppose us. So, if we drink too much, we may mock those killjoys who don’t drink at all. If we’re engaging in a sexual relationship that the church would disapprove of, we may make fun of those puritanical Christians who embrace celibacy and monogamy.
Jude pointed this out in today’s passage. In it, he said that there will always be those who, following their own desires, will mock our beliefs. They will try to make us feel stupid for clinging to our faith. Because they are of the world and we are not, we are always going to experience the disadvantage of not being popular or trendy. To the world, we will always be old-fashioned. Others may even paint us as intolerant and hateful because of our beliefs.
As followers of Christ, we must realize that the gospel is paradoxical to that world and that the world will not always love us for it. We must also however, refuse to give the world reason to hate us. When mocked, it’s dreadfully easy to embrace a confrontational posture, returning hate for hate. Our mission as followers of Christ though, is to follow his will, loving all those around us, even when they mock us for it.