Why is lying wrong? Because it hurts people or because God said not to do it?
Here are seven reasons why I think sarcasm is unhealthy and wrong. I would love to hear what you think by leaving a comment .
1. Sarcasm is a lie and not the language of the Kingdom.
When I make a sarcastic comment I lie, assuming my listener knows my words to be untrue. What a trick of the devil to put lies in the mouths of Christians! It is only when we are honest with ourselves and with others that we can speak the language of the Kingdom. If we cannot speak the language of the Kingdom, how can we expect to live at peace with its residents?
Who speaks lies as his native language? Hint: not Jesus.
Lies are the language of Satan. “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44
2. Sarcasm fosters insecurity.
Sarcasm often comes either out of a place of insecurity or into a place of insecurity. Think of it like a bank, people deposit their insecurities into sarcasm and then get them back with interest.
3. Sarcasm interferes with authentic community.
The things we say sarcastically are often things we are unable to say seriously but still feel. True intimacy and community are hard to find because of this. It can often be a challenge to sort out the truth from lies when a sarcastic person speaks. The people making sarcastic comments sometimes are unsure of the truth themselves.
Buried within many sarcastic comments hides a small nugget of truth. Sometimes people say what they feel sarcastically so they can’t be held responsible for their true feelings. Their sarcasm allows them to maintain their mask of hypocrisy. This hinders both communication and authentic community.
4. Sarcasm discourages inquisitiveness.
In my experience sarcasm is often used to deride people for asking simple questions. It causes some people to be cautious to talk at all, particularly to strangers. I ask simple questions. When I reveal my ignorance on a topic I often must brace for the sarcastic blow that may or may not fall. My confidence is in Christ and not myself so these comments do not destroy me but are nevertheless unappreciated. I think we would all learn a lot more if we were a lot less sarcastic.
5. Sarcasm interferes with good leadership.
Secure people make good leaders. If sarcasm is a symptom of insecurity then the better a leader you are the less sarcastic you will be. Can you Imagen Moses, Jesus or William Wilberforce being sarcastic? Sarcasm is like a false save that temporarily numbs our pain of our insecurities but ultimately makes the root problem worse. One of the things I admire about John Moore, our college pastor, is how authentic he is. John is a speaker of the truth and I appreciate that.
The false save of sarcasm keeps dells our pain and keeps us from taking our insecurities to Christ. Sarcasm hinders communication and undermines trust. Vital elements of good leadership.
6. Sarcasm undermines true humor.
Some people are naturally funny. They put those around them at ease by finding the lighter side of life. Others, myself included, try to compensate for their lack of humor through sarcasm. Yet sarcastic “jokes” are rarely funny and they rarely put people at ease.
Sarcastic remarks are easy to make and keep us from cracking jokes that are actually funny. How many times have you ever belly laughed to a sarcastic comment? The best you can hope for from sarcasm is snicker.
7. Sarcasm is the language of bullies.
Sarcasm can be used as a way to attack other people without given them a chance to respond. It is like a kid with a bat in one hand and a trash can lid in the other. When he says a biting sarcastic comment (bat) he defends himself (lid) by saying he was only joking. He can then take a second swing with the bat by accusing the listener of having no sense of humor.
The only way the other children could play with such a bully is if they too get bats and lids. This is how sarcasm like a virus infects a community.
Do you ever remember coming home from school crying because a bully said something mean. What did he tell the teacher? “I was only joking.” I contend that sarcasm is still a subtle form of bullying, regardless of age.
There is a difference between sarcasm and hyperbole. Hyperbole is the contrasting of extremes to make a point. So when God tells Job to tell him how the world was formed since “Job was there” God is using hyperbole to emphasize the fact that Job was not there and does not know. While like sarcasm hyperbole is different in the fact that it makes the truth clear instead of cloudy.
Do I make sarcastic remarks? Yes. In my insecurity I still speak lies instead of truth. But it bothers me. My conscience bugs me about it though and I try to apologize. I am a poor standard. But I ask that you keep me accountable to only speak the truth from now on.
Do you agree/disagree? Leave a comment and let me know what you think .