Did you notice that God hardly ever uses sarcasm?
We are told to “Build up one another” and “Be kind to one another” and “only allow a word that is fit for edification to come out of our mouths.” But boy, That is easier read than done!
A woman came into our service last night and commented on our renovation of our sanctuary “Pastor they are working so extremely quick, its amazing!” I reminded her “Well, demolition is always a lot faster and easier than any construction.” As I said those words, I couldn’t help but recall an old poem:
A Builder Or a Wrecker?
As I watched them tear a building down
A gang of men in a busy town
With a ho-heave-ho, and a lusty yell
They swung a beam and the side wall fell
I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled,
And the men you’d hire if you wanted to build?”
He gave a laugh and said, “No, indeed,
Just common labor is all I need.”
“I can easily wreck in a day or two,
What builders have taken years to do.”
And I thought to myself, as I went my way
Which of these roles have I tried to play?
Am I a builder who works with care,
Measuring life by rule and square?
Am I shaping my work to a well-made plan
Patiently doing the best I can?
Or am I a wrecker who walks to town
Content with the labor of tearing down?
“O Lord let my life and my labors be
That which will build for eternity!”
How easy it is to put someone down and then to add “I’m just kidding!” I was so known for that in my younger days that I would abbreviate the phrase “IJK” and everyone knew what I meant. Sad.
Truth is, the Scriptures warn us to not joke around with each other because of the great hurt we can bring others without intending to do so.
“Just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon is someone who lies to a friend and then says, “I was only joking.” Proverbs 26:18-19
Jesus said “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” Even if you are just kidding around, there is often a particle of truth in your exaggeration or in your words that leaves a person with a question of how you might really feel about them.
Think of the people you enjoy being around and the ones that you would like to be more like. Chances are that they are not people who use much sarcasm at all and seldom, if ever, say anything but kind uplifting things to you and others. The Bible says “And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips.” Luke 4:22
It would be good to ask ourselves from time to time:
Do gracious words fall from my lips so much that people are amazed? Or are people amazed at other words that fall from my lips?
It is interesting to see that when people are filled with the Holy Spirit, it immediately affects the words they speak. They suddenly start giving praise to God and can’t help but speak in an encouraging and edifying way. (Cf. Acts 2:11)
The question is “Who’s got your tongue?” The Holy Spirit or some other spirit? (Compare Acts 2:4 and James 3:6)
It matters and no… I’m not kidding!