By Greg Johnson
You are with your friends and this conversation takes place:
“Hey, where’d you get that bike, the Salvation Army kiddie store?” one friend asks you.
“As a matter of fact, no. My parents got it for me at Olympic Bikes,” you say. “But Jones over there told me you were hoping to get some Barney underwear for Christmas. I’ll be sure to tell your parents for you.”
“Hey, guys, cool off,” says Jones. “After all, when you start putting each other down, you look and sound like idiots. Can’t we just have a normal conversation once in a while?”
“Thanks for the idiot lesson, Jones. I guess it takes one to know one.”
“Speaking of lessons,” you say. “Did you hear that Abbott was taking violin lessons? Can you imagine anyone playing the violin?”
“Now why would you rank on a guy for taking violin?” Jones asks. “Who made you the decider of what people should do? If you had your way, you’d want everyone to play football or something.”
“At least I can play football, Mr. Wimp,” you retort.
And on it goes for another five minutes, each of you trying to outdo the other, sarcastically putting each other down. It’s like that a lot with your friends. Some are good at it, others aren’t.
Questions to Think On
• How can sarcastic humor be hurtful?
• Have someone else’s jokes about you ever hurt your feelings? What did you do about it?
• When you put someone else down, what are you really trying to do?
• Mom and Dad: What are the rules around the house about sarcastic humor and put-downs? Why?
What Does God Have to Say?
A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue.
The righteous will never be uprooted, but the wicked will not remain in the land. The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be cut out.