Cheap shots

Do not slander a servant to their master,
or they will curse you, and you will pay for it.
Proverbs 30:10

As children of God we must take responsibility for our actions, good or bad, and for everything that comes out of our lips, be it blessings or curses. One area of our life that requires our attention is the way we verbally express our thoughts. Oftentimes we say something that we have to regret later having failed to control our speech. That is very natural for human beings, but being natural does not necessarily mean it’s good. We must not allow emotions to control our lives. I’m not saying we should suppress all emotions because that would lead us to mental illness, but we must let our emotions be controlled by the Holy Spirit. One thing to watch closely is when we say something in jest. As God’s children we can enjoy humor and laughter but by no means we should allow that humor to be used as a weapon to harm others. Many times it is quite easy to say something funny related to the physical appearance or a genetic deformity of someone present. It is possible that what we say is funny but the person referred to in the joke will feel attacked and that will become a source of pain, hatred and bitterness, because the joke will be immediately interpreted as a low blow.

The best course of action, then, is to take care at all times, especially when we are speaking in jest, of not referring to the physical aspect of anybody, present or not. Let’s forget the jokes about fatness, being skinny, baldness, short people, tall people, hairy people, the pot-bellied, the emaciated or any other physical appearance that deviates from what the culture considers “normal.” There are many other subjects that we can use to say something really funny without giving way to our natural tendency to take cheap shots at others. We’ll do better by following the instructions given by the Apostle Paul to the Ephesians, “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.” Let us take care, then, of what comes out of our lips. Only to God be the glory!


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