This is a stick-up! Hand over your all your scoffing and mocking!
It’s supposed to be “stocking stuffers,” not “scoffing and stuck up” at Christmas!
Now if you never, ever do this, you have nothing to give to the Lord this day! But for the rest of us, those for whom a little cable news or news from home or downhome gossip can trip us up and result in a snide comment or two, let’s wrap all that nastiness in fussy paper, box it up, tie it with a big bow, and HAND IT OVER!
Who would be glad to receive such a thing? Who else? None but the Lord, if we deliver our derision into His hands. Anyone else on the receiving end … not so much!
Some of you/us are so good at the Scoff, the Quirky Little Bit of Mock! We can be funny, sometimes, and not-so-funny sometimes, too. Don’t stop, if you are one of those rare ones who can tease and make others feel loved … I actually know ONE PERSON who’s good at that, but it’s not me.
To speak for myself, God showed me one time that when I tease (He actually said, “Kerry, don’t do it … you’re no good at it!”) we are trying to say something to the other person, something we’ve been itching to say, without telling them truthfully and in love. We are hoping they will get the point, take our drift, and, of course, change to suit us.
So, in order not to get a lump of coal in our stockings, let’s be careful of the derogatory little jabs we take at others. Almost any one of us would rather be encouraged than mocked. Even if we have to hear a little gentle truth once in a while, it can be much more a gift than a lump of mockery, black and sooty.
I once had a friend, dear beyond most others, but she was perennially late. You could count on having to wait twenty minutes or more for her no matter where, no matter what. We teased her. We loved her too much to hold her to account. She laughed off our sweet scoffing, but one day we said together, “We love it when we get to spend time together. Only when you’re late, we always feel like we could have stayed home a little longer ourselves. And it’s cold out here! Still, we’ll take your friendship any way I can get it!” You know, she never managed “on time,” but she made a valiant change, a big change, and we didn’t feel scummy, and we stopped teasing her endlessly after that.
No wonder we hardly try! It’s not easy! But our hostile humor makes a terrific gift for God, the FATHER of this family, this Christmas.
He sees us when we’re scoffing, He knows when we’re upset;
He knows if we mean bad or good, so let’s stop before we let … our …
teasing run wild, our scoffing cause pain, our mocking rejoice,
we’re sneering again … in this house our Father sees all!
The Mockery of the Owl by the Other Birds
Jan van Kessel, 17th Century, Wikipedia, public domain