Only joking

One day in my 8th grade science lab, a kid pulled the chair out from under another as he was in the process if sitting down. Naturally this caused him to hit the ground, and the room erupted in laughter. The wounded student jumped up and wanted to fight. The perpetrator said, “I was only joking!” And the other smiled and laughed. NOT! Saying it was a joke didn’t undo the hurt and diffuse the anger. As a teacher, I witnessed this phenomenon regularly. The details were different but the behavior was always the same. The excuse of “only joking” was never sufficient.

Proverbs says this, “Like a madman who throws flaming darts and deadly arrows, so is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I was only joking! ” (‭Proverbs‬ ‭26‬:‭18-19‬ HCSB). Pretty strong language here. The point is we cannot undo the damage done by saying, “only joking”. The arrows and flaming darts have already wounded and destroyed. I love a good joke as much next as the next guy, but not at the expense of others. Once the damage is done, it leaves scars, we are supposed to speak words which build each other up and encourage each other. Deception dies not encourage anyone.

Don’t be a madman!