Biff’s best friend, Freddie, is a practical joker. It is one of Freddie’s strengths that most people love. But, as in most cases, Freddie’s strength has become his greatest weakness. It seems you can never have a serious conversation with him.
He’s sarcastic, mocks nearly all the time, and is regularly putting down his friends in front of others. He does these things as though it was a competitive event. Many of his friends have found it paralyzing to be around him.
Freddie is also ministry leader, but his over-the-top communication style demands everyone’s focus to be on him rather than his Lord, and his jesting wears thin on people. Rather than developing leaders, his team is more guarded and measured when around him. Someone said recently,
You never know when you’re going to get hit with a verbal jab.
Ironically, his team is more outgoing, expressive, and independent thinkers when Freddie is not around them. The saddest commentary of all is that many of Freddie’s friends are mimicking his behaviors, which leaves little time for prayer, encouragement and other Christlike actions.
Biff has come to you for help regarding how to approach Freddie the “flesh cutter.” Biff said,
I’m just a church member. Freddie is a leader. How am I to respond to him?
Case Study Questions
- What is your theology on the tongue?
- How would you guide Biff?
- What are your guidelines and other thoughts about lightheartedness versus seriousness?