What does the Bible say about laughing at people and criticizing others?
We are to treat others as we would like to be treated (Matthew 7:12). How many of us would like to be laugh at and criticized?
I know I didn't appreciate it when people called me, "fish lips" or made fun of the way I walked or ran. I remember what it was like to be teased and picked last for the sports teams in Physical Education class. One girl in high school criticized every thing I did. The more she criticized me, the dumber I felt. I am not dumb nor have I ever been dumb.
It has taken a long time to see that I am not what those bullies said about me. I am not ugly. I am not dumb. The words they spoke hurt me to the core, and I carried those scars for many years. As I am sure, we probably all have.
The words we speak are very important. Not only about ourselves but about other people. Our words contain creative power. The Bible tells us that we can speak to the mountain. If believe in our hearts that the mountain will be removed, it will be (Mark 11:23). That's how powerful our words are. We can have what we say.
This not only works in the positive but in the negative as well. If we keep saying negative things over our lives, such as I will never succeed, I will never get married, I will never have kids, and we believe those things, we will have what we say. We may not want it to come to pass, but it will.
If we keep speaking negative things over other people's lives, they will eventually believe those things too. Then the things we have spoken over them will come to pass.
We should be careful what words we speak over ourselves, our spouses or our children because if they take it to heart, our words will come to pass in their lives.
Instead we must choose to speak good words over ourselves and others. We must speak the Word over them instead of negative things. When they believe those things, good things will happen in their lives.
Now that we understand the power of our words in other people's lives, what does the Bible say about laughing at and criticizing others?
The Bible tells us not to point out the speck in someone else's eye when there is a plank in our own (Matthew 7:3-5 NIV). In other words, if we have sin or faults in our own lives, which all of us do, we should not pick a part others.
Remember the adulteress woman, who the Pharisees caught in the very act of adultery? They wanted to stone her, but Jesus told them to let the one who was without sin cast the first stone (John 8:3-11). They all left because not one of them was without sin.
We should remember this when are quick to accuse someone else. We too have those things in our lives that are wrong, that are sinful, areas in which we are weak. If we don't, we would be perfect and wouldn't need to be a part of God's training program down here on Earth.
The Bible says judge not, lest ye be judged (Matthew 7:1). When we laugh at someone, tease them or criticize them, we are judging them. And for what? Their appearance? Which they can't do anything about? About their ability to play sports? Or run? Maybe because they have a lisp? Or a limp?
Instead we should have compassion on them. We remember what it was like to be teased, don't we? What would we have liked someone to have said to us at that moment? We should treat the person being teased the same way we wish we would have been treated. We can befriend them. We might find out how great the person really is.
What about judging ourselves? A lot of us, such as me, are more hard on ourselves than we are on others. I believe that we don't treat others right because we don't love ourselves. And not loving ourselves is caused because we don't believe God loves us. The Bible tells us to love others as we do ourselves (Matthew 22:39). We cannot love others if we do not love ourselves.
We are hard on ourselves, picking a part every thing we think, feel and do, when we do not believe God loves us.
If God loves everyone (John 3:16), and we are supposed to imitate the actions of God, our Father (Philippians 4:9), then we are supposed to learn to see others and ourselves as God sees us.
How does He see us? He sees us, if we are Born-again, as redeemed. He sees us as covered in His Son's shed blood. Although we may struggle with sin, He still sees our worth.
We need to see others as God sees them--as full of worth. Now, let's say that we meet a person who is angry or bitter. They still have worth. God still loves them, and to be like Him, we must love them too. We need to see the worth in them. If we find this difficult, we should ask God to point it out to us.
How does He see us if we are not Born-again? He still loves us, but we are not His own. We belong to satan. God is waiting for us to believe on Him, to come home to Him.
Judging people, criticizing them, putting them down or laughing at them does not show God's love for them. For some of people, we may be the only Christ-like person they will ever see.
We must be conscious of what we do, act or say because we never know who is watching us.
Go in to all the world and lead people to Christ by example. Be an imitation of our God and Father.
Annagail Lynes is a published author, pharmacy technician and starting her business as a life coach.
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