Just back from a visit to Ireland, I mentioned that I felt right at home on the island because sarcasm was a way of relating common in the culture. They call it “slagging” and it does seem to build bridges in a unique culture. But what of the gospel and sarcasm?
Sarcasm is actually harmful and dangerous and thankfully I have people in my life willing to correct and challenge me when my sarcasm gets out of hand. Heath Hollensbe of SOMA Tacoma has been rebuked for it as well and he shares what he has learned of sarcasm in a post.
During the conversation, I was told “Your sarcasm is killing community in your life, because that is what sarcasm is: a community killer. You are using it as a cover for never fully being known.” As if that wasn’t hard enough to hear, he went on: “Every time I see someone trying to reach out and press into knowing you more, it’s apparent where you get uncomfortable, because you rely on sarcasm to end the conversation exactly where you want it to end.”
For me, sarcasm is often about broaching tough subjects without being man enough to talk things through. It is sin. Sarcasm is dangerous as Hollensbe discovered.
A) A cutting, often ironic remark intended to wound.
B) Mocking, contemptuous, or ironic language intended to convey scorn or insult
The word comes from the Greek σαρκασμός (sarkasmos) which is taken from the word σαρκάζειν meaning “to tear flesh, bite the lip in rage, sneer.”
Sarcasm is so bad, Hollensbe says it is a community killer. The gospel frees us to affirm others and approach the difficult things in our lives without mocking or desiring to wound. If you have been on the receiving end of my sarcasm, I am sorry. For those of you in my life, please hold me accountable and encourage me to build up rather than tear down. And to those of you who already do this, thank you.
Read the whole post here.