Ever hear that one before?
Some guy or gal pulls a joke out of midair which is inappropriate, crude, derogatory, or otherwise awkward in the situation with your friends. Then, you muster up some bravery and call them on it. Then we hear them say
“Aw, I was just joking! You need to lighten up and stop taking things so seriously!”
Then, usually in front of a crowd, you are shamed and viewed as the one who can’t take a joke. You’ve been there, I’ve been there… Anyone who has stood for what is right has been there. It is frustrating to no end, especially among trusted peers to see a joke take precedent over what is honorable, lovely, pure, etc… all those things found in Philippians 4:8. Why? Because of course, it is “Just a Joke”. Harmless, meaningless, or just for fun. I’ve heard that one a lot too, and am guilty of this myself…
“Oh, I just do it for fun. It doesn’t really mean anything.”
We are called, according to scripture, to do everything in the name of Christ.
“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
Every word we say, every song we listen to, every movie we watch, and every joke we make. I’m by no means saying I’ve got it all figured out, because I fail in this area at times too. The point is to be thinking. Thinking and constantly asking “Am I doing this for Christ?“. There is no middle ground or just for fun things in this world. Either is is for Christ, or it is for self. Neutrality is not an option.
When someone says “I’m just joking”, these verses comes to mind.
Like a foolish madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death, Is the man who deceives his neighbor, And says, “I was only joking!” ~Proverbs 26: 18-19~
Be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. ~Ephesians 5:1-4~
Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for humour and good jokes. God gave us the gift humour, being able to laugh, and the ability to use speech in a manner which is funny and glorifying to Him. I am all for making a person laugh, and laughing at a funny person, but not at the expense of God’s glory and honor. That’s where we, as Christians have to draw the line and go “Not funny dude, that was not uplifting.”
And in application to self, which is the most important, this has been working well for me- When I say “Just joking” or “It is just for fun.” I have been adding this little bit to the end in my head “Said the fool.” Because according to proverbs, when we do joke like that, we are acting as fools, not imitators as Christ.
So what are your thoughts? Have you experienced this? Do you suffer from this like I do? Comment below and let me know what you think. :)