Making an impact?

Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing. (Proverbs 12:18)

Sarcasm is a deliberate attempt to poke fun at another or the actions of others. At times, it can be very subtle, said in jest, and without evil intent at all. An individual who is very good at sarcasm might just be holding audience on a stage somewhere right now as a 'stand-up comedian'. Among friends, an occasional sarcastic word might just be good humor - something you can laugh about together and nothing malicious was intended by the words. In the hands of a 'sarcastic individual', such as the comedian who earns a living pointing out faults, those same words may be cutting, rude, and demeaning. Words that cut into the emotional well-being of another are never healthy ones. They will hurt and not help. They won't strike a chord of 'happy feelings', but will leave the individual hurt, almost like they are 'bleeding' emotionally.

There is wisdom in knowing when a bit of humor will bring levity to a tough moment. The words we choose to speak are supposed to lift others up, never tear them down. The more we use hurtful words, thinking we are 'making light' of some faux paus in another's day or character, the more damage we could be inflicting on their already wounded soul. How can our words bring healing today? Perhaps you will find a way to encourage someone who has been facing some tough times, but make sure those words are genuine because the person who is hurting so deeply can easily sense false platitudes! The best form of encouragement is words backed up with actions that match the words. Don't just tell someone you will pray for them - stop then, do it right there, and listen to what they tell you about what they have been experiencing. 

Did you know that sarcasm is the least effective method of communication? That is why we should probably use it in moderation - only when light-hearted conversation is warranted. Most of the time, it is cutting, and the remarks will not do much to improve the situation. Am I suggesting we cannot have a little levity in the moment? Not at all, but we must learn to judge well the impact of our words. Think them through before you speak them and if they won't help, don't let them out of the gate! The more we guard our words, the more we will find our words are impactful when they are spoken. Just sayin!


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