Gelotophobia (literally, “fear of laughter”), sometimes also known as catagelotophobia, is the fear of being ridiculed or laughed at by others because of a mistake, miscue, or malfunction. It is a social disorder affecting millions of people, keeping some from speaking or performing in public settings. As everyone knows, the pain from ridicule can be great.
In a similar though nonclinical way, the fear of being ridiculed keeps many believers from proclaiming the gospel to others. Some hesitate to even practice their Christianity at work or in their social settings. Many do not want to be laughed at for living counter to cultural mores, or for not having answers to the questions of skeptics.
In our reading today, the Lord tells Israel that the righteousness He provides takes away their need to fear reproach by mere mortals (v. 7). His righteousness provides everlasting salvation (v. 6), so what is there to fear?
When Christ summons us to salvation, He calls us to believe and practice what seems foolish to the people of this age. It starts with believing that He is the Creator of all things and that we are too sinful to save ourselves. We experience salvation by trusting in the work of Jesus rather than self-reliance. We believe that Jesus died but is now alive from the dead. We further believe Jesus Christ is the only way to be in a saving relationship with God (John 14:6). As the apostle Paul said, “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” (1 Cor. 1:18).
The righteousness of God will never fail (v. 8). We can have this encouragement to ward off the pain from any reproach of man. We have the approval of God.
Through her service as Research and Learning specialist, Jennifer Epperson provides valuable data to Moody Radio that promotes the development of our radio ministry. Would you pray for the Lord’s blessing on Jennifer’s work at Moody?