Sarcasm

Posted: August 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

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Sarcasm. Controlling your tongue. Nothing erodes the human spirit faster. Nothing causes more damage psychologically. Nothing crushes self-esteem or steals confidence more than sarcasm.  Yet for some reason, it has gone largely “unchecked” in most circles.

Whether you’re a person of faith or not, even most moral people do not subscribe to cuss words or “bad language”. In fact, in highly educated circles, it’s even looked down upon as a “lesser” form of communication, as if the speaker cannot intelligently come up with words to better get their point across.  But for some reason sarcasm continues to run rampant.

Now you must understand:  I am the KING of sarcasm.  Back in the day, my wife bought me a t-shirt that said, “Sarcasm: one of my many talents”.  Once upon a time, I even used to “battle” with a guy on our church staff to see who was “best” when it came to this issue.  Arguably, I was tops.  Looking back, I wish I were proud of it. Here’s the convicting verse:

Ephesians 5:3-4 (NIV)
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.
4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

It’s the “coarse joking” part that most people skip over.  Here’s another glimpse of what Paul was trying to tell the church in Ephesus:

Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

He uses he phrase “unwholesome talk”.  If you’re constantly railing someone, or casting ‘negative’ views on others or on life in general, that’s sarcasm. Sarcasm doesn’t build up. It tears down. It erodes.  It breaks. It robs.  It does a lot of things, but “building up” is not one of them.  Consider this:

James 1:26 (NIV)
26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

Wow!  I am convicted about keeping a “tight rein” on my tongue.  James goes on to say:

James 3:2-10 (NIV)
2 We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.
3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.
4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.
5 Likewise 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.
6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man,
8 but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.
10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.

Amazing! v. 2 says, “if we’re never at fault with what we say, we are PERFECT”!  Let’s try to keep a tight rein on our tongue. Let’s do our best to curb SARCASM.

Starting with me.

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