United Church of God

Dear Compass Check: What should I do if kids make fun of me because of my religion?

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Dear Compass Check

What should I do if kids make fun of me because of my religion?

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Thank you for your question. You may have heard of the old adage “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” Actually, this is not true. Words can hurt, they do hurt and sometimes hurt very deeply. Any time someone makes fun of our beliefs or of us, we are hurt inside. Romans 13:10 says love does no harm to its neighbor, so those who are striving to live as God asks them need to watch their words carefully so as to not hurt others.

However, not everyone lives that way of life. Jesus Christ realized most humans would not follow God’s instruction and would indeed ridicule true followers of God. In fact, in Matthew 5:10-11, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.” 

Later, in Matthew 10:22, Jesus said, “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.” He told us that since they treated Him badly, they would also treat us, His followers, badly. We also read in 2 Timothy 3:12, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”

This is one of the hard parts of being a disciple of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. This is where the “rubber meets the road”. Quite honestly, this is where many people give up, throw in the towel, and turn back to their old life!

God promises us that if we’ll remain faithful to Him, He will bless us and eventually make those who mistreat us recognize how wrong they were. Notice Revelation 3:9: “Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.” 

Yes, I realize that to know what will happen in the future does not always comfort us in the present, but in Mark 8:38 Jesus tells us not to be ashamed of what we believe: “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” When we really know what we believe and why we believe it, explaining our beliefs becomes easier. So we then have an incentive to study so we can clearly explain our beliefs.

There are times when we must also be careful not to promote our beliefs to others who may not desire to hear what we have to say. It really is a delicate balance. If someone doesn’t really want to know what we believe and is only trying to stir up trouble for us, perhaps it would be better to simply avoid that person as much as possible.

Please talk to your parents and your minister to get more tips and suggestions to help you with the specific situations you face.