Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Don't be an April Fool!

"But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient [proper]: but rather giving of thanks." Ephesians 5:3-4

"But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." Matthew 5:37

Not too long ago, my husband and I discussed these words of Jesus from the book of Matthew, and just this morning they were in my daily reading. Only late in life have I attempted to become a "Yea or Nay" person; I am a natural kidder, and a tad sarcastic. All in fun, of course!

But is it okay for a Christian to jest? Is sarcasm becoming of a saint? Not according to the above Scriptures, and several others. In fact, the verses in Ephesians puts jesting and foolish talk in some pretty bad company: covetousness? filthiness? fornication?? Ouch!

It's not that a Christian can't say funny things. Many times it's the true things that are the funniest! (You should live in my house and watch my children sometime, ha, ha.) But fooling a person with a joke, or being known as someone who speaks the opposite of what they mean (which is sarcasm), is simply being untruthful when you break it down.

"Truth is such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it." ~Emily Dickinson

Have you ever seen a jokester who it seemed could never be serious? They might be funny for a little while, but it quickly starts to wear on people in their presence. The mirth they bring is not the same thing as true joy, and I suspect for many it is only a mask to hide something.

On the other hand, do you know someone who is candid and truthful, and says things that edify, and knows how to use light humor, weaving it appropriately throughout the conversation? Refreshing! I think this is how Christians ought to be.

So, I won't be an April Fool. And I won't make one out of you, either.


Elizabeth said...

Well said, sister. It's not that you always have to be somber and serious. It's just that we should always use words fitly spoken. There's a way to joke and a way not to. One of the funniest Bible passages to me is when Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel. I never get through it without laughing. Elijah says of Baal, "either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked." Now, that is funny stuff.

One of the most disgusting forms of sarcasm (saying the opposite of what you mean, like you said), is this. It's a big pet peeve of mine. I don't know if you've heard Christian folks say these sort of things, but I've heard people name a particular sin and then say that sin is what they need, in jest. I don't know if that makes sense so I'll give an example: "I had a rough day. I could sure use a beer and a cigarette!" Followed by laughter and "oh, just kidding," etc.

Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favor.

I always make my comments so long...sorry. I'm not exactly known for brevity!

Goin' Guatamalan said...

HI . My name is Melinda and my family and I are moving to Guatemala to do ministry work. I have enjoyed your blog for about a year and love the fact that you do so much on here in relation to being a mom which is our first ministry. I would love to ask if you could email me and let me know what type of things would you bring to Guatemala if you knew then what you know now. By the way, I have 6 children from ages 16 to 5... so some of my thoughts are simple to like crayons and paper ? I have no idea what is available there. Thank you so much ! Oh , you probably have thought of this but maybe you would consider a post about this. Blessings, Melinda

Tammy said...

That's one of my pet peeves, too, Elizabeth. Sin isn't funny!

Tammy said...

Hello, Melinda! Nice to "meet" you. I pray that things go well for you as your family prepares to come to Guatemala. How exciting!

I would be glad to help you out with your planning. I followed the link to your profile, and didn't find an email address. So I'll just comment on your blog. :o)