Journey Out of Sarcasm (Part 1)

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.
(Ephesians 4.29)

I have a love-hate relationship with sarcasm. I love it, but it hates me and those to whom it’s directed. According to my Random House College Dictionary sarcasm is a “harsh or bitter derision or irony” or a “sharply ironical taunt or gibe; a sneering or cutting remark.” Well, when you put it like that! I love irony, but exposing it often carries a high price. It costs trust, credibility, and authority. It often comes at another’s expense.

A brother recently cleaned the fog off my soul’s mirror. I’m too sarcastic, especially publicly. Many of you have known that for quite some time. God be praised for the patience and overlooking love you’ve shown. God have mercy for the damage I’ve done to your sanctification. What I’ve long thought a creativity medal is actually a millstone. For that, I’m deeply sorry and plead the merits of Christ alone to make the sarcastic whole.

I’ve struggled with this off and on for years. I’m sure psychoanalysis would reveal some underlying fears that sarcasm masks. Sarcasm is a way to deflect ignorance with irony. Sarcasm is a way to get my way via embarrassment instead of encouragement. It’s an attempt to assume leadership by violent oppression rather than through love. What’s better than a good gibe to get the upper hand? Sarcasm is a cheap shot that knocks breath out of the soul.

Whatever the underlying factors, it’s plain ol’ sin. Sarcasm is pride’s native language. I’m sarcastic because I want to be. And I want to be because I’m sinner through and through. I like exalting myself rather than Jesus. What’s my remedy for sin? God’s gracious and loving correction in his word. If I am his I will listen. That will constitute the next couple of posts: my inner dialogue with Scripture in order to be less sarcastic and more edifying. God help me. God help you help me. It’s about time.

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