Also a weed is only a weed where unwanted
Gossip is more like uncultavatable (<-- a new word!) land.
There is no `one size fits all' approach to learning-- thats evident in Texas' school system (hence my neolexia^).
What works for some doesn't for others. For me this `sarcasm' allows me to expose my flaws to my peers in a manner that is easier so that they can help me with their own triumphs over the issue and I can start to heal faster.
Jesus' words did incite bitterness. I am not perfect and never will claim to be, only He could direct sarcasm at others in my opinion. Only he could say remove the plank because only he didn't have a speck. It seems to be one of those things where humans have twisted and usurped the divine ability of God to show us our shortcomings and weaponize it against others.
Thank the Lord He says to call him Father and not supreme ruler of the universe. Either way he would be perfectly righteous. He has instead chosen to deal with us gently and I believe sarcasm and even humor is evidence of that Love.
I think part of the issue is what we perceive as sarcasm
Using irony to express the opposite of a literal meaning (which Webster gives as a definition) isn't really sarcasm. We can use irony to make light of mistakes we have made, highlight inconsistencies in ourselves and others, but the difference is doing it without the indignant tone.
so saying 'I NEVER do THAT' is closer aligned with irony than sarcasm.
I think I see what you are saying. I've often found myself rolling my eyes, and say with a grin, "Oh, I'd never do THAT!" At the same time, those with me KNOW I am kidding and we can move onto the next topic with love. I'm not sure, though, if that example is sarcasm. I do not say it to cut myself down, nor do I say it to degrade anyone else. Hyperbole, maybe??
When I say "sarcasm," I'm referring to the comments with undercurrents of angst and a motive of making another lesser. As an example, I heard one pastor mention the different theologies concerning Song of Solomon, and finished it with saying, "It's JUST a love letter! HELLO??" The comment and tone of voice made me think anyone who viewed Song of Solomon differently than "just a love letter" is ridiculous and should not be taken seriously. To me, it seemed like an attempt to make other views (such as a prophetic view of Christ's love for the Church) of the book lesser than the way he reads it. Even though the message was delivered with humor, it detracted from the gospel message.
Keep in mind, I realize we all slip every know and then, and I offer grace accordingly (at least I try). It's when I see a cycle/pattern of it that I begin to evaluate with a greater degree of discernment. Whenever I visit churches with pastors using sarcasm in their messages, it tunes me out because I know it's not God's heart to guilt or shame anyone into loving Him. In a sense, sarcasm has become a means to poke and prod people to think a certain way -- even in the church. It's a form of manipulation, and I've grown weary of hearing it over the years.
It really wasn't until after I left that atmosphere and spent a bunch of alone time with God, that I started to recognize sarcasm for what it is. Maybe as an exercise we can take a step back, spend some alone time with God, and see how our spirit responds the next time someone chooses the sarcastic method??
Melanie Siewert, Christ's Servant
I was lucky enough to get a good church I guess because I haven't noticed any sarcasm other than the type I described. I could however see where it would grow tiring. Maybe a quiet, private rebuke is in order? Just open the eyes of the speaker in question to their manipulations gently, they may not be aware.
Also, as a promised man to a beautiful woman, Song of Solomon is a beautiful example of the way a man should love a woman like Christ loves the church. I thank you for the reminder today!
That's awesome you are a part of a life-giving church!! The pastor I am under now has a clarity of thinking that I have not seen in decades. Plus, he keeps his sarcasm to an absolute minimum. He even admits he's sarcastic sometimes, so I'm not speaking out of place. :-D Plus, the people are AWESOME! Love just gushes from everyone to the point where everyone feels soooo valued. It's an amazing compare and contrast to past churches I've been a part of over the years. It's been a refreshing and restful season for me, and I'm loving it!
As for the aforementioned speaker, it's too late. I had to forgive, release and move on. The Lord has richly blessed me with more revelation into who he is ever since. :-) God is such a GREAT dad!!!
Melanie Siewert, Christ's Servant