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Do you ever face being treated with contempt as a Christian? Does it come from people who seem to judge you based on your faith? People who seem to enjoy taunting you because you’re a Christian? You are not alone! Many Christians have had to deal with contemptuous people quite often!

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Treated With Contempt as a Christian – What is ‘Contemptuous’?

Merriam-Webster defines it as

manifesting, feeling, or expressing deep hatred or disapproval : feeling or showing contempt

Some synonyms for contemptuous are:

belittling, degrading, demeaning,  derogatory, mocking, ridiculing

Know anyone in your life who has ever ridiculed you or mocked you because of your faith?  I have!  In fact I just recently had someone refuse to work with me as a virtual assistant simply because they made judgments about me because of my faith.

Someone else experienced this kind of treatment. He was a man named Nehemiah!

 

Treated With Contempt – Let’s Meet Nehemiah

My pastor has been preaching a series on the book of Nehemiah.  It spurred me to look a little deeper at this book that, quite honestly, I often neglect in my reading.

So let’s first meet Nehemiah.

Nehemiah was a Jew but served as cupbearer to King Artaxerxes.  He went in to the King one day looking sad.  

Nehemiah 2:1-2:

“In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before, so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.” I was very much afraid…” NIV

Nehemiah was afraid because being sad in the presence of the King was not permitted.  It was seen as a disapproval of the King or dissatisfaction with his job.  So Nehemiah was afraid because the King had noticed his sadness.

Nehemiah then goes on to tell the King that he is sad because the city where he is from and where his family is buried is in ruins.  He then asks the King to allow him to return to Judah to rebuild.

To make a long story short, the King agrees to let him go, gives him letters to show along the way giving the King’s permission for him to pass through various regions, and also agrees to his request to supply the lumber needed to rebuild the walls of the city.

And in Nehemiah 2:8 it says:

“And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests.” NIV

Nehemiah had been praying a long time for this.  But the answer to his prayers was delayed for a time.  So now Nehemiah knows the hand of the Lord is on him and it is time!

Not only was it time, but the King gave him everything he needed AND sent officers and an army with him!

 

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Treated With Contempt – Meet the “Ites”

So Nehemiah is arriving in Jerusalem and Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite hear about Nehemiah’s arrival.

They are not happy about this!  Nehemiah 2:10 tells us:

..”it displeased them greatly that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel”

They did not even yet know that Nehemiah had come to rebuild the wall.  They were displeased that someone had even come to check on the welfare of the people of Israel!

So Nehemiah 2:16-20 tells us

“And the officials did not know where I had gone or what I had done; I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, or the others who did the work.

Then I said to them, “You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.” And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me.

So they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Then they set[b] their hands to this good work.

But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they laughed at us and despised us, and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Will you rebel against the king?”

So I answered them, and said to them, “The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no heritage or right or memorial in Jerusalem.” NKJV

The Hebrew word used here for “laughed at us” is la’ag, which means to mock and laugh.

The Hebrew word used here for “despised us” is “bazah”, which means to hold in contempt or be contemptuous. The NIV says “they mocked and ridiculed us”.

So, have you ever been mocked, laughed at, ridiculed for your faith in God?  Have you ever had someone show contempt?


 

Treated With Contempt – People Will Judge You For Following God

People in the world do not understand our faith. They think it’s foolish! They see Christians as bigots, narrow-minded, blind sheep. People will make fun of what they don’t understand. When you are treated with contempt by people around you, understand your faith is foolishness to them.

 

1 Corinthians 1:18 tells us:

 

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” NKJV

 

Hollywood and popular culture almost thrive on making fun of Christianity and its values.  The late night “comedy” show, Saturday Night Live even did a skit that made fun of the movie, God’s Not Dead 2.

They label Christians hateful and bigoted and then respond with something hateful and bigoted.

But what about when it is not coming from Hollywood?  What about when it comes from our own family or our own friends?  Many Christians have lost people because of their faith!

Who are your “ites”?

 


How Do You Respond When You Are Treated With Contempt For Your Faith in God?

 

Pray For Those Who Persecute You

Don’t get into debates with them.  Don’t challenge them.  Pray for them.

Matthew 5:44 says:

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,” NKJV

 

Praising God Through Trials

Yes! Praise God for your persecution because it comes with a blessing!

1 Peter 4:14: 

“If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” NIV

Matthew 5:11-12:

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way, they persecuted the prophets who were before you” NIV

 


Guard Your Heart and Mind – Set a Watchman

When Nehemiah knew his “ites” would come against him and try to fight him, he prayed and guarded the city!

Nehemiah 4:7-9 says:

“But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs and the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem was going forward and that the breaches were beginning to be closed, they were very angry.  And they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it.  And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.”

 

They prayed and guarded the city!

Pray and guard your heart, as my pastor says!!

Pray, put on the armor of God and get in the Word!

Nehemiah 4:17 says:

“…The laborers carried on their work….”

They kept moving forward!  They did not stop the work God had for them.

AND…

“Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other…” NIV

 

One hand supported their load. One hand did the work. But the other hand held a weapon.

We are to carry on our work AND stay in the Word! The Word of God is our weapon!

When people ridicule you for your faith, pray for them, praise and worship God, pray for God to place a guard on your heart, and continue doing what God has called you to while staying in the Word.

Satan wants nothing more for you to stop. He wants nothing more than for you to turn away from what God wants you to do! Keep moving forward!! It may cost us friends, it may even cost us family! But God promises we will be blessed when we are treated with contempt!!


Some other posts like “Treated with Contempt” you might enjoy:

WHERE IS GOD IN MY TRIALS?

GOD, WHY AM I SO OFFENDED?

THE CHRISTIAN AND THE OUTER COURT – JOURNEY INTO THE TABERNACLE

SPIRITUAL WARFARE- BEING MORE THAN A CONQUEROR REQUIRES A BATTLE

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

 

Treated With Contempt as a Christian - Facing Your "Ites" 2

My name is Diane and I am a wife and mom, a Jewish believer in Yeshua (Jesus) and yes, a blogger. I live in BEAUTIFUL Northwestern Connecticut and when I am not blogging, you will find me spending time with my husband and kiddos…or up in my craft room designing custom tumblers, making reading pillows or quilting! I am also an avid amateur genealogist and love researching my family history!

26 Thoughts on “Treated With Contempt as a Christian – Facing Your “Ites””

  • Nehemiah’s faith is always an inspiration (and a rebuke!) to me. I love the way he stood up to Sanballat and Tobiah time and time again — “I’m doing a work for God. Why should I stop and come down to meet with you??”
    Why, indeed!!!

  • We have been told for centuries now that we are not christians. We don’t believe in Jesus Christ or Heavenly Father. We know the truth and try to answer questions. Some of the worse are from other suppose christian faiths.

  • I just read 1 Peter 4:14 the other night and I recommend Phillipians 4:7 to guard your heart and mind, trying myself didn’t work as well.

    • Yes I struggle with that too. It is in my personality to want to try to correct someone when I KNOW they are incorrect in their judgment..or sharing something I know full well is just false. Sometimes I think Facebook is a testing ground for me LOL

  • I have to say in all honesty that I have never been mocked or held in contempt because of my faith (that I know of). I am not saying it doesn’t happen, I’m just saying it has never happened to me personally.

    • I am glad you’ve never experienced it personally..my hope is you never will! But sadly I think it will happen more and more in the future!

  • The part of this post that speaks to me most is to stay in the word even when things are tough. Our worth comes from the fact that we are children of God — offspring of deity. I love the Max Lucado book about the Wemmicks, where the one little Wemmick keeps getting ridiculed (the other Wemmicks stick black dots on him) and he feels terrible. But then he meets another Wemmick who he admires because she never worries about what others think of her, whether favorable or not. He asks her what her secret is and she tells him that she goes to talk with her maker, Eli, every day. When we spend time with our maker through prayer and daily scripture reading, the same will be true of us — other’s opinions will fall away. We will learn our true worth. Thank you for this reminder!

  • Great post! If Jesus was laughed at, mocked, and persecuted, how can we not be subjected to some of the same things. Knowing and trusting that He still stands in the gap for us is so important. While we pray, praise, and guard.

  • I’m pleased to find you here, a beautiful Jewish woman who follows Yeshua. My husband once called me a bag of rubies, but I haven’t heard it recently . . . guess I’ll have to remind him! 🙂

  • This is great advice from the book of Nehemiah. It does irritate me when you get SNL skits that mock Christians or you see them even turned into religious nuts who are the villains in some shows or movies. It is to be expected though, as even Jesus himself was mocked and scorned and accused wrongly. It’s also hard to praise at times like these, but we do it not because we’re praising our circumstances but praising God for who he is and that he is faithful and our strength and shield.

    • It upsets me as well Robert. You could not go on SNL and make fun of any other group but Christians seem to be fair game. The very same people who claim Christians are intolerant, are intolerant toward us! You’re right…it IS difficult to praise when you’re being ridiculed but yes…we are praising God because no matter how much we are maligned, God is in control!

  • As one who is currently under attack, I deeply appreciate this…particularly to continue going forward as I pray and guard. Thank you…

    PS–what day does your linkup happen? Thanks!

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