The wisest man who ever lived wrote, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). Death is mentioned first because it is what naturally comes out. Only the grace of God can enable us to speak life.
Those of us that basically talk for a living are always in danger. I was recently reminded of yet another of Solomon’s proverbs, “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin” (Proverbs 10:19). The more we speak, the more apt we are to say something that is hurtful to God, to others, and to ourselves.
Perhaps one of the most cutting types of language is the use of sarcasm. Some of us have perfected it and assumed that it was God’s method of dealing with ignorant people. I have studied the Bible carefully and have come to the conclusion that sarcasm is not a spiritual gift. In fact, it is far removed from anything spiritual; it is fleshly.
By definition, sarcasm is “a cutting remark intended to wound.” Wounds are sometimes necessary, but the right type of wounds are given in love. The wounds of a friend are always given to help, not to harm. Sarcastic people are more concerned about themselves than they are another person.
Sarcasm is the tone of a prideful heart. It is intended to make others look foolish in hopes that self can look wise. Sarcasm is the fruit of thinking that I know everything and others know nothing.
It is significant that the all-wise God of the universe does not speak to man in sarcasm. He could. He knows everything. But His heart of love is demonstrated in the kindness that He shows…even to ignorant people like me. The only cure for sarcasm is to see God as He is, ourselves as we really are, and others as God sees them. It is not a language issue; it is a heart issue.
Remember that it is better to get God’s smile than to get a laugh from those around you. Let’s make this our prayer:
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).