But I was only joking!

But I was only joking!

A Story by Precious Prodigal

March 14, 2014: But I was only joking! Please “Share” this new Precious Prodigal Post: http://bit.ly/1cZwvIu

Prov 21:24 (NIV) “The proud and arrogant person�"“Mocker” is his name�"behaves with insolent fury.
We’ve been looking together this week at the words we speak and whether those words are good and acceptable to the Lord (Psalm 19:14). We’ve looked at speaking impatiently and in anger, at the negative ways we talk to and about ourselves, at the times we don’t respect someone’s privacy, whether intentional or not, and the times we complain. Are you feeling as “beat up” as I am? I thought I was finished until I came across this verse in Proverbs about mockers.
Our entire family is blessed with a great sense of humor and, even during the hardest times, laughter was and continues to be heard often in our home. Sometimes that laughter comes after some gentle teasing, and all of us have the ability to laugh at ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with that, is there? I would say no…unless, of course, the “teasing” isn’t really gentle. Sometimes that sharp wit can have a cutting edge. When it does, we’ve crossed a line, and it isn’t innocent anymore.
Mocking is a kind of teasing too, but it’s teasing in a scornful or contemptuous way. When the joking or teasing is harmful to someone, it isn’t a joke anymore. It’s mockery. Besides the fact that it diminishes someone and is mean-spirited, it is displeasing to the Lord. According to Proverbs 21, it is insolent and is the behavior of a proud, arrogant person. And it expresses “fury.” Wow! Could it be there’s some underlying hostility in our jokes? And if they’re really innocent, why do we mange to find the very thing that person is sensitive about? Is it possible that kind of teasing puts another person down in order to build ourselves up or is a “payback?” Ouch and Ouch and Ouch.
I hope you understand that I’m not saying we should walk around on eggshells, worried every minute about whether our innocent comments might hurt someone’s fragile ego. And if you’re thinking some people need to lighten up, you’re absolutely right. However, this isn’t about their perception; it’s about our words. And it’s possible to be amusing without being sarcastic and to be funny without being cruel. If the “joke” isn’t funny to the person who is the butt of that joke, it isn’t funny at all. And maybe I’m not as amusing as I like to think that I am.
Challenge for Today: Can you, just for today, take a hard look at the “teasing” words you say to see if they are as innocent under the surface as you think they are?

© 2014 Precious Prodigal

Author's Note

Precious Prodigal
March 14, 2014:
But I was only joking!
Please “Share” this new Precious Prodigal Post:

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