Is Sarcasm Sinful? If Not How Can It Be Used in a Godly Way?
- 2022 15 Sep
The following is a transcribed Video Q&A, so the text may not read like an edited article would. Scroll to the bottom to view this video in its entirety.
Sarcasm is not sinful in and of itself. Paul uses it, the Bible uses it at numerous points. When Isaiah talks about the man who chops down the tree and chops it in two and puts half on the fire and the other half he carves into an image and bows down and worships it, and he never asks himself “why did I make dinner with one half and worship with other, what is going on here?” The prophet is being sarcastic. Sarcasm comes up at various points in Scripture.
I think like humor, it can have very good pedagogical purpose. One has to be careful not to overuse it. One has to be careful that the pain it induces is an educational pain and not simply designed to belittle people. But certainly, the Bible itself sanctifies the use of sarcasm for a godly purpose.
According to Wikipedia, “Sarcasm is the use of irony to mock or convey contempt.”
Maybe sarcasm and feeling safe do not go together.
Some of you might be thinking, what about Elijah? He was sarcastic. Read 1 Kings 18:27. He was showing how ridiculous it was to trust anyone but the one true God.
Looking at what sarcasm does will help us determine if it’s beneficial in our communication with others.
Sarcasm can hurt.
And it wasn’t so much my words as it was how I said them. There’s a little bite to sarcasm. As if the person saying it is angry. It made some uncomfortable. The thing is, I was totally unaware of this, just wrapped up in myself and the fun I was having. Sarcasm can hurt. Words can injure.
To read more from this excerpt, see Should Christians be Sarcastic?
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