Gary Smalley is known for his quote, “Anger is never buried dead, but buried alive.” This “live anger” comes out later after piling up as an explosion, passive aggressive behavior or sarcasm. Really, sarcasm? How can a little joke be anger in disguise? After all, it was just a joke.
Sarcasm and teasing are seen as high levels of comedy. Check out the latest issue of Time Magazine’s article, “Make Fun of Everything”.1 This article asks, “What’s worse: making fun of people or assuming they’re too weak to take it?”
The truth of the matter is that sarcasm cuts a person’s character, ability, or physical attributes.
There is always a bit of truth in each sarcastic comment. The humor is used to make the comment acceptable. But is it really acceptable to put down our spouse, our kids, our friends in the name of humor? The little cut at another person, may feel insignificant to you, but how many other times has this same quality been made fun of before? These cuts can add up and create quite a scar.
Recently, I made a sarcastic comment about Peter’s character in front of our family. It is not a secret that Peter is conservative with money and has been accused of being “cheap.” My comment was cutting. I saw it on his face. When I stopped to think about why I made the comment, I realized, I was really angry that he was not willing to spend money on something I wanted. This really wasn’t a joke. It was my anger, spilling out in sarcasm. I quickly apologized for the comment.
Sarcasm tends to invite sarcasm. I take a jab at you. You take a jab at me. Who is going to stop the cycle? Instead of returning a sarcastic remark think of how you can respond in love instead of anger and hurt. Listen and love.
Is sarcasm being used in your family? What other kinds of humor can you find that won’t be cutting one another’s character?
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,
but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs,
that it may benefit those who listen.
By Heather Larson, M.A.
Wife to Peter
Mom of three
1 Corinthians 13 Team Member
Associate Director of 10 Great Dates
1. Time Magazine http://time.com/22993/key-and-peele-make-fun-of-everything/