Monday, August 01, 2011


Many of us brainy types enjoy sarcasm. In fact, it could be said it comes easy to our tribe. Indeed, it comes so easy many of us see it as a gift; but, I'm beginning to think sarcasm is another form of laziness. Rather than work hard at dealing with an issue--trying to be clearer, more patient--we flippantly throw out a sarcastic zinger and call it a victory. It may make us feel better, but does little good.

Sarcasm comes from a Greek word, sarx. NT students immediately recognize the danger. "Sarx" is a loaded term used by Paul; literally it means "flesh," but Paul also used sarx to characterize a way of life that works against the Spirit. So, sarcasm is of the flesh. Literally, "sarcasm" is a saying that tears the flesh, bites the victim, rips at the meat of a wo/man. In Paul's day, sarcasm wouldn't be seen as something desirable, especially for a Christ believer.

Contrast our culture, where sarcasm is a virtue. Our "pop" philosophers (a.k.a. comedians) use these fleshly sayings with great skill. But, I'm beginning to think sarcasm works against my desire to "walk in the Spirit." A sarcastic word may be funny, but I wonder whether it helps at all.

This is going to be a hard habit to break. I love sarcasm--maybe too much. And, that should be a warning too.

"This I say: walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh."


Darryl Schafer said...

And you were wondering where all the prophetic voices are. #notsarcasm

stephen said...

I was thinking about this a couple of weeks ago. we mock like fools. we delight in our sardonic parodies. I wrote "sarcasm - a chasm indeed." what a mess I make.

Ben Clay said...

Any time we love something too much, that should be a wake up call. If we are honest a lot of of us have turned our "sense of humor" (i.e. need to be known as fun to be around, funniest person in the room, life of the party, etc) into an idol. In doing so, how often do we turn the attention from our Lord and shine the spotlight on ourselves?