Very few of us like to be mocked.
When I was young, I was mocked for my short height. I was mocked over some of my peculiar pronunciations. I was mocked for my emotions. As a result, I decided to become as good as the big men in sports and toughness, worked hard on my intellect and communication skills. And hid my emotions. In short (no pun intended), I became who I wasn’t.
Now over time, these traits became embedded in me, and I was a bit of an athlete, accomplished communicator and university honour student, and managed to live with and appreciate emotions. The problem is that because of the mocking, I redefined myself. The good news is that because of mocking, I redefined myself.
It is written that what was meant for harm against us, God intended for good (Genesis 50:20). This was written about Joseph and his rise to power in Egypt after being sold into slavery by his brothers. In the end he was in a position to save many people from famine.
I am not Joseph. I am also not the scared, insecure young man I once was either. Perhaps Joseph and I are not anomalies. Many people end up better after going through some trials. For me, my transition was not based on divine revelation at the time. I just got tired of being picked on.
There are many stories about people becoming somebody new because they were tired of being bullied. The kid who becomes good at self-defence or the woman who loses a bunch of weight are two stereotypical examples of this.
At the time, the change began with almost a revenge motivation. “I will show them!” is a common thought. Some who change don’t change for the better though. They may have a healthier body, become more successful, smarter, or stronger but the inside person has no foundation.
This was true for me. I had no Godly foundation. I become arrogant and angry. I was all smiles and niceties on the outside, but a mess on the inside.
All of us have been in a place in which despite our best efforts, we fall short and there were people who cruelly mocked or insulted us as a result. One of the first stories I wrote was about an old man who befriended a pigeon on his daily walk. One day the pigeon died tragically, and he was deeply grieved. The person reading it openly mocked the story and me in front of an entire room of aspiring writers. Man, was I mad! But I was too insecure to fight back or to defend myself, so I remained silent.
Many of us have had similar experiences with our looks, the way we talk, or our ability to do certain things. Yet, God uses these offences to put us spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and even physically in the place we need to be in. This is hard to fathom when you are hurting and angry or embarrassed. When Joseph was stuck in the hole in the ground and then sold as a slave to a passing caravan, I don’t think he was thanking God for the pain and suffering, I doubt he was able to see that in the end that he would literally run Egypt.
I couldn’t know what my life would be like now back when I was a small man, in more ways than stature, and being scared and angry because of the mocking. Leading people in various settings, preaching before a live audience, being on national and international TV and podcasts were not even within my scope of reference at the time.
To be honest, I just wanted to be unnoticed. To be noticed meant ridicule and suffering. These things were meant to stop me and to keep me little. What was meant for harm, God has indeed used for good.
And if this is my story and if this is Joseph’s story; it is also true for you. It can be your story if you believe God when he says it will be for your good in the end. God knows how to rescue godly people from their trials (2 Peter 2:9). My rescue didn’t happen until I became a godly person by accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior and living as he meant me to live.
Don’t be an Andy and let others drive you into hiding. Be an Andy and let God rescue you.
Andy Becker is a retired counsellor and author of The Travelers, a fictionalized account of spiritual warfare (available on Amazon) as is, Stupid Thyroid, a book he co-wrote with his wife, Stella. Andy and his wife, Stella, lead Lighthouse Ministry in North Central Regina, one of Canada’s poorest and roughest areas. He is a retired counselor, speaker, and writer. Andy Becker is working on his second book about spiritual warfare. His first book, The Travelers, is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.