A few days ago I was counseling the parents of a teenager who related to me an account of a recent conflict in their home. The conflict ended abruptly when the girl sarcastically said to her father, “Whatever!” and then made a beeline for the door. Her parents were looking to me for advice on how they might respond to this behavior.
I opened up my computer Bible, did a quick search of the word “whatever” and read a couple of those verses to them. They wrote down the Scripture references sort of lamenting the fact that they hadn’t thought to use the Scriptures as a means of convicting their daughter in that way, but pleased that they had something to say next time she responded with “whatever.” All of this is based, of course on, Proverbs 26:4-5.
Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will also be like him. Answer a fool as his folly deserves, that he not be wise in his own eyes.
Depending on the need of the moment, may I suggest that any one of the following verses might be an appropriate way to initiate (or an appropriate foundation upon which to construct) a biblical “answer” to this all too popular foolishly sardonic remark?
Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops. (Luke 12:3)
Whatever is not from faith is sin. (Romans 14:23)
Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. (Galatians 6:7)
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. (Colossians 3:17)
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