Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse. Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.
Proverbs 9: 7-12
This morning in the car the kids and I had a discussion on Proverbs 9. Hearing the word "mocker" multiple times was cause for a further chat on what mockery is and who qualifies as a mocker. My son understood that disobedience of God brings about mockery; however, I want to dig in a little deeper to understand how this happens. How does someone become a mocker? What is this process? Am I mocking God because I let a cuss word out when I dropped something on my foot? Am I mocking God when I yelled at my children the other day? It appears that mocking is more than the everyday battle we fight with our sinful nature.
It seems like it would be easy to spot a mocker, doesn't it? She is rejecting God outright. He is supporting a culture of death. They are ridiculing their Maker. These are all true examples of mocking God, but the problem in spotting appears when the mocking is happening in the heart and being carefully, and deliberately, concealed in the actions.
As I've considered recent headlines, it's clear that the Planned Parenthood workers who were secretly videotaped mock the Creator. They laugh about the death of baby girls and baby boys and callously describe the massacre of their faces and other body parts for their profit. Whoever does not see the evil in these deeds must face the prospect that they too are mockers.
But what about Josh Duggar?
I've appreciated a few blog posts that I've read that deal with the truth of our hearts. This story frankly reveals the intention of our hearts apart from Christ. And, this one challenges us to consider who we are as we face the new revelations about Josh Duggar's adultery. Without Christ, I am a rotten--not to mention dead--mess. So are you. But, with Christ, we have a new nature. We no longer are slaves to our sinful nature, but now to righteousness. We still have the flesh on us, though, so we can't relax just yet. Oh sure, we can relax in our hearts knowing that we have peace with God through His Son. But, our bodies can't relax--they need to fight and fight ferociously against sin that keeps trying to rule us.
Even while we actively fight our sin, we will certainly find ourselves being disobedient. This is life. This is the battle. One day we will experience victory once and for all as we are glorified in Heaven. But, for now, on this broken earth, in these broken bodies, we must fight. If we stop fighting, or if we fake that we're fighting, then mockery will settle in.
I'm concerned that the Duggars have been acting far more than we thought on their former "reality show". The fruit of a legalistic lifestyle is hypocrisy. Is this not exactly what Josh declared he has been?
“I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him."
"I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife."
This hypocritical fruit is an active and engaged lifestyle of saying one thing and doing another. Dad Duggar modeled this when, on their TV show, he openly spoke with Josh about the glory of purity and its rules yet quietly knew that Josh had already sexually molested multiple young girls, including his sisters.
After finding out about Josh's sin as a young boy, I had hoped he had learned his lesson and received a forgiveness from God that propelled him to live as a new creation. To think that his family would have gone on public TV and that Josh would've taken a role with the Family Research Council, one could only hope that he was a changed man.
But, he chose to sin and coddle that sin and keep on sinning secretly. This hypocrisy, this mockery against God and His commands, is the result.
Did the Duggars set up this kind of home life with their rules and public faces? Did they focus more on the externals than the hearts? Did they unknowingly cultivate a mentality of mockery?
How about us? Where am I more focused on the outside? Where am I portraying one thing yet loving my sin privately with no intention of exposing it?
Believers must be challenged by this. We must examine our own home lives and consider where we are setting up scenarios for those in our care, whether that be our children or others that we influence, to take our hypocrisy and turn it into full-blown mockery. Our generation may think we can slide by putting on a smiling face, attending church and keeping a tight lid on the sins in our homes. But, it won't take long for all of that to bubble over and for the next generation to outright reject a God whom they just cannot please. A God whom they truly don't know.
May we all be humbled by the nature of our hearts apart from Christ's redeeming power.
May we be quick to encourage other Believers who are struggling in fighting their sin.
May we cultivate hearts that are soft and that abhor dallying in sin.
May we better understand and appreciate what Christ sacrificed and accomplished on the Cross so that we take our sin more seriously.