A photo of an open Bible, with a highlighted verse on the dangers of mocking others, surrounded by crumpled pieces of paper symbolizing hurtful words and the need for compassion.

What Does The Bible Say About Mocking Others?

Mocking others is a serious issue that the Bible addresses multiple times. If you want a quick answer, the Bible clearly prohibits mocking and tells us to treat others with kindness and compassion instead of belittling them.

In this comprehensive article, we will examine several biblical passages that provide wisdom and commands regarding mocking others. We will look at definitions and examples of mocking behaviors, explanations of why mocking is prohibited, and the Bible’s calls to love one another instead.

Definitions and Examples of Mocking

Literal and Figurative Definitions

The word “mock” has its origins in the Old French word “mocquer” which means “to deride or sneer at.” Literally, mocking means to mimic or imitate someone in a taunting, scornful, or contemptuous manner.

It involves making fun of others by copying their actions or words in an exaggerated or sarcastic way. Mocking often intends to belittle, humiliate, or disrespect someone.

Figuratively, mocking refers to any speech or behavior aimed at expressing contempt or ridicule for a person or thing. It can manifest as teasing, taunting, put-downs, name-calling, scoffing, sneering, sarcasm, imitation, mimicking and other actions designed to shame or discredit an individual or group.

Behaviors That Qualify as Mocking

Here are some common examples of mocking behavior:

  • Imitating someone’s voice, gestures, or mannerisms in a mocking way
  • Using a sarcastic or condescending tone
  • Laughing at someone’s mistakes, faults, or misfortunes
  • Making jokes intended to embarrass or humiliate
  • Calling someone names or using insults
  • Spreading rumors or gossip about others
  • Posting unflattering images of someone online without consent
  • Excluding or shunning peers as a form of bullying

Mocking can occur in various social contexts such as schools, workplaces, online platforms, and public spaces. It affects people across age groups. Common targets include those perceived as weak, different, or vulnerable. Mocking violates human dignity and causes deep hurt and trauma.

The Bible strongly condemns such behavior and calls us to love one another.

Bible Verses that Speak Against Mocking

Proverbs 26:18-19

The book of Proverbs warns about the dangers of deceitfully mocking others. Proverbs 26:18-19 states, “Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, ‘I am only joking!'”

This powerful verse criticizes those who mock others under the guise of humor or sarcasm. The act of mocking can deeply hurt others while providing little true benefit to the mocker themselves.

Galatians 6:7-8

Galatians 6 reminds readers they will reap what they sow. Verses 7-8 declare, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”

This verse teaches that those engaging in sinful acts like cruel mockery face negative consequences, while those who live righteously are rewarded.

James 3:5-10

The book of James utilizes vivid imagery to demonstrate the danger of an unchecked tongue. James 3:5-6 states, “The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.

The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.” This reminds readers that cruel mockery often stems from hurtful words, which can damage relationships and reputations.

James 3:9-10 continues, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”

This makes clear that the same tongue used to worship God should not also engage in destructive mockery of His creations.

Reasons the Bible Forbids Mocking Others

Mocking Causes Harm

The Bible clearly states that mocking others is sinful because it causes harm. When we mock or ridicule someone, we are belittling and demeaning them, often publicly. This can lead to deep emotional and psychological wounds for the person being mocked.

Research shows that victims of frequent mocking or bullying experience higher rates of anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. The Bible calls us to build others up, not tear them down (Ephesians 4:29).

Mocking is Prideful and Arrogant

Mocking others often stems from pride and a sense of superiority over the other person. However, the Bible makes it clear God opposes the proud and exalts the humble (James 4:6). When we mock others, we set ourselves up as better than them, looking down on them with contempt.

But the truth is all people are made in God’s image and have inherent value and dignity. The Bible calls us to “in humility value others above yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). Mockery contradicts the humble, loving spirit God desires.

Mocking Goes Against Loving Your Neighbor

Jesus commanded his followers to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). Mocking someone certainly does not show love for them. The Bible calls us to treat others the way we would want to be treated, known as the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12).

Making fun of others contradicts loving and honoring them. The Bible says love “does not dishonor others” (1 Corinthians 13:5). When we mock people, we are failing to demonstrate Christ-like love.

The Bible clearly prohibits mocking and ridiculing others for good reason. It inflicts harm, exhibits pride, and contradicts the call to love others. We all stumble in many ways (James 3:2), so humility and grace should characterize our speech and conduct toward others.

What the Bible Says We Should Do Instead

Treat Others How You Want to Be Treated

Jesus taught in Matthew 7:12 that we should “do to others what you would have them do to you.” This well-known teaching is often called the Golden Rule. Rather than mocking others, we should treat them with the kindness and respect we hope to receive ourselves.

Showing consideration for others demonstrates love (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) and fulfills Christ’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

The Bible calls us not only to avoid harming others, but to actively love and care for them. Leviticus 19:18 says to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Love seeks the good of others (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) rather than belittling or mocking them.

We can demonstrate active love by being patient and kind, protecting others’ reputations rather than insulting them (Proverbs 11:9). The Bible promises that “Perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18); our care can help others feel safe rather than anxious about mockery.

Be Humble and Value Others Above Yourself

Scripture repeatedly emphasizes the importance of humility. Philippians 2:3 advises us to “in humility value others above yourselves.” A humble person recognizes that all people have equal worth in God’s eyes rather than seeing themselves as superior and mocking those they view as inferior.

Additionally, data shows that humble people have better relationships and are viewed as responsible leaders (source). We can demonstrate true humility by considering others’ needs before our own (Philippians 2:4).

The Bible offers clear guidance to value and uplift others rather than mocking fellow humans made in God’s image. Implementing practices like the Golden Rule, loving others as ourselves, and embracing humility can help us have healthy relationships where we and others feel respected.


The Bible clearly prohibits mocking others in many passages and makes a compelling case for treating all people with dignity and respect. Key reasons mocking is forbidden include the harm it inflicts, its prideful nature, and contradiction of loving your neighbor.

Instead of mocking, the Bible calls us to love one another humbly, avoid harming others with our words and actions, and follow the golden rule of treating others how we want to be treated. Implementing these wise principles can help foster a more caring, compassionate, and understanding society.

Similar Posts