This post is probably going to be a hard pill to swallow for some people, including myself and some of the people I care about most.
I feel like there's a clandestine killer entering a lot of our homes and relationships. But we don't look for the murderous beast and try to eradicate it. We treasure, coddle, and prune it.
What's the name of the beast?
I know. Shoot me now.
I actually read a blog post years ago in which the author tried, in vain, to convince the readers that sarcasm really has no place in the Christian home. I balked and pushed it aside.
Whatever, I thought. People who don't appreciate the beauty of sarcasm are humorless half-wits, right? What kind of spineless Christians are we growing if they can't even handle a little sarcasm?
But obviously, the Holy Spirit kept it in the back of my mind. He knew I'd come to a point in my spiritual growth where I'd see the truth...and now I'm the crazy blogger trying to convince you of the evils of sarcasm.
Fantastic. God be with me.
First, let's define sarcasm for the purposes of this post. See the line right above this one? The one where I said, “fantastic”? I obviously did not MEAN that was fantastic. I actually meant, “this is probably going to be crappy and hard.” That, my friends, is irony.
Simple irony hurts no one. It's merely saying the opposite of what I actually mean.
Then, there's sarcasm, and the definition alone may convey my point better than the rest of this blog post:
OUCH. Did you see that example? That, my friends did NOT come from me. Google the word, and that's what you get: Well, it's easy to see that she got her biting sarcasm from her mother.
Sarcasm isn't just irony. It is NOT just saying the opposite of what you mean. Instead, it's using that device to mock or convey contempt. OUCH.
Now, let's look at how we use this in our homes?
Mom to son: Well, THAT was smart.
Translation: That was really stupid.
Father to daughter: As always, we can depend on you.
Translation: You are not dependable and incapable.
Mom to Dad: Great job, genius!
Translation: You are a moron!
These are simplified and obvious examples, but they're powerful. Children understand this at a very young age. Are these really the messages we want to send to them?
You're stupid. You're incapable. Your other parent is moronic.
Now, if you need more proof, let's take a look at how scripture says we should and should not be speaking to one another.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Let no corrupt talk come out of your mouths,
but only such as is good for building up,
as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart,
and this defiles a person.
The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt,
so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
But I tell you that everyone will have to give an account on the
day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.
These are just a few among so many. While we may dismiss our words as unimportant, God has seen fit to address the issue time and time again in His word. HE says our words are of extreme importance.
God says our words hold either life or death.
In essence, when we use sarcasm, what we're really doing is placing ourselves above the person we're speaking to. We're talking down to them.
Sarcasm, at it's core, is haughty and prideful.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.
Rather, in humility value others above yourself.
I think the reality of the situation is clear. It's a hard pill to swallow, though. There's no doubt about that.
I also want to clearly state that, while I have been convicted about this, I understand some of you may not share this conviction...yet. I think this one takes time, and I'm not judging anyone who isn't on the same timeline.
Nevertheless, unlike my clothing convictions (that I've SO poorly kept to since pregnancy), I do feel this lesson applies to everyone. The Bible is clear, but the question is this:
Will we heed the words of our Creator and slay sarcasm before it has left our tongues, or will we continue to use this weapon to slay the people we love?