One buffalo turned to the other and said, “You know…I think I just heard a discouraging word.”
Sometimes we tear someone down without a second thought. We Americans are famous for sarcastic remarks that try to go for the joke but nearly always brings someone down a notch.
On another note…when church people do this inside the church as a fun sport…your visitors are not thinking “oh, how they love each other”…they are thinking, “yikes, these people are brutal to each other, I want no part of this!” I was at a church that was famous for their sarcasm to each other as long time friends…the pastor, jokingly and proudly announced, “Yeah, we are pretty brutal with each other.” Mm, as a newcomer, I didn’t think it to be funny…just awkward for me.
Brennan Manning said, “In every encounter, we either give life or drain it; there is no neutral exchange.”
As I read Romans 12 this morning, as every morning, I am praying for God to change the way I think and behave. It is not my intent to bring someone else down so that I may be lifted up. I think if we really stop to think about what we say, many of us do not want that either. So, let’s…
“Live in harmony with each other. Don’t try to act important, but enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!” Romans 12:16, NLT
“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible.” Romans 12:17, NLT
To do this well, we need to listen more and think less about what funny remark we will lunge back. Words can kill. A relationship. And our witness of Christ to a seeking person.
We do it all the time…we say things that seem harmless and funny, but inside someone else, it hurts. We move on, without even knowing of the hurt until we are hurt ourselves. Forgive us of this sin of sarcasm and help us to think of words that build each other up and give life to someone today…What a blessing that would be!
In Jesus Name and By the Power of the Holy Spirit in us, Amen