Gelotophobia is the “fear of laughter,” and sometimes, it is also known as catagelotophobia, which is the fear of being ridiculed or laughed at by others because of a mistake, miscue,or malfunction.
This social disorder affects millions of people, keeping some from speaking or performing in any public setting.
We all are familiar with the pain that comes from being ridiculed by others.
The fear of being ridiculed keeps many of us as believers from proclaiming the gospel to others.
Some hesitate to even practice their faith in Christ at work or in their social settings.
Many do not want to be laughed at for living counter to our culture’s ideas, or for not having answers to the questions of skeptics.
We read in Hebrews13:6,
“So we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?’”
Because we are in Christ and He is in us, we can trust Him to express His Life through us.
When we are trusting Him moment-by-moment and His view of us, we can live free of the fear of what others think of us.
As believers in Christ, we are to expect that at times we will seem foolish to the people of this age.
It starts with believing that He is the Creator of this Universe and that we are too sinful to save ourselves.
We experience salvation by trusting in the work of Jesus alone on the cross for us rather than in our works.
Since we believe Jesus Christ is the only way to be in a saving relationship with God, this runs counter to our culture.
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).
Since we are saved, kept saved and have victory only by the power of God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ, we can have this encouragement to protect us against the pain from any reproach of man.
We have Christ’s approval, so we need not fear people think of us.
Five-year-old Johnny was in the kitchen as his mother made supper.
She asked him to go into the pantry and get her a can of tomato soup,but he didn’t want to go in alone.
“It’s dark in there and I’m scared.”
She asked again, and he persisted.
Finally she said, “It’s OK–Jesus will be in there with you.”
Johnny walked hesitantly to the door and slowly opened it.
He peeked inside, saw it was dark, and started to leave when all at once an idea came, and he said, “Jesus, if you’re in there, would you hand me that can of tomato soup?”
Jesus is in our human spirit and always present with us, so we do not need to fear, especially people’s opinion of us.
Pastor Ken Keeler, Director of Church Ministries