Jesus’ followers can attract some mocking and persecution. How should we deal with them? What principles might apply?
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers . . .unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers . . fierce . . . false accusers . . . heady. . . having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof” (2 Tim 3.1-5).
- love your enemies; showing love can breach certain high walls; offer him help, friendship or prayer as appropriate (Lu 6.27,35).
- humility is vital
- harsh words can pull a believer down from the Spirit into the flesh
- ask Holy Spirit to give you a response for him
- it’s my policy not to talk to people when either of us is angry; hot exchanges tend to get worse not better; leave, flee (2 Tim 3.13).
- “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matt 5.9); want to be blessed?
- identify his underlying motive, attitude or feeling; Jesus told even strangers what their need was (Jn 3.3); He had harsh words for the hard-hearted
- I believe that there are unusually evil people to stay away from: drug sellers, thieves, murderers, adulterers, angry people, et al (Prov 1.10-16; 13.20; 22.24; 24.1-2; Psa 1.1-2; 1 Cor 15.33; 2 Cor 6.14-17).
- stay full of the Word and faith. Ask God how to deal with him next time
- offer to sit down and pray with him about this matter. If his heart is right he will likely want to resolve it before God. If not, he will likely depart; hopefully you have planted a seed.
Possible Responses to Doubters, Mockers, Persecutors:
- “Friend, you seem angry. Have I done something to offend you?”
- “I want to believe that two big-hearted people can work out their issues.”
- Let God speak directly to his heart; share an appropriate Bible verse.Quote a powerful faith promise–“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe.” (Prov 18.10 NAS)(Psa 34.4, 7)
- Start praising God! Burst out in joyful song! Reclaim that room for the Lord!
- “Let me think about your comments.”
- It takes two to argue. Silently walk away.
- May I ask, are you open to discussing this calmly or is this just a drive-by blast?”
- “You say that you are an atheist yet you are blaming God for the evil and suffering?
- “May I ask, do you believe in tolerance, diversity of opinion? Freedom of religion?
- “God gives peace.”