Sarcasm

Wit or humor that is intended to be biting or hurtful, often intended to embarrass or humiliate

Satirists gain the applause of others through fear, not through love.  William Hazlitt

 

Satire is focused bitterness. Leo Rosten

 

A sarcastic person has a superiority complex that can be cured only by the honesty of humility. Lawrence Lovasik

 

   Sarcasm is often misused! At best, it is witty and humorous; the person creating it and to the person receiving it, both appreciate skillful use of it. At worst, it is hurtful and painful. The person on the receiving end does not appreciate being attacked. Sarcasm is often nothing but a verbal assault.

   Is the motive for sarcasm to be funny and witty or hurt and humiliate? Sarcasm can become a vicious weapon that harms or insults. It can also be funny and appreciated for its creativity. It is a fine line between acceptable and unacceptable. The intent to hurt is always wrong. Some sarcastic people are not sufficiently well-adjusted and use sarcasm to lash out, get even or cry out. People who are not well-adjusted are prevented by law from owning hand guns. In similar fashion those who are not well-adjusted should avoid using sarcasm. Those who have been abused, bullied or victimized are often motivated to get even. They are poorly equipped for sarcasm.

   People with very poor self-images may be ill-equipped to use sarcasm or be its recipient. Sarcasm requires skill. It easily becomes a verbal weapon. If either the creator or the receiver is overly fragile, nothing good comes from sarcastic exchanges. If sarcasm is not properly witty, creative or humorous, both may be hurt by its poor use. Neither party may know how to use or how to receive it. If the receiver is too sensitive and vulnerable to being hurt then it is always ill-advised and out of line. Many individuals are too fragile. They lack the strength of character and have little or no self-esteem. Fragile personalities should not be targets of sarcasm. Most of us have sensitivities and vulnerabilities. We are aware of what it is to have hurt feelings.

   Sarcasm should never be used to take advantage or condescend. The use of sarcasm between friends should be a two way street. “What is good for the goose is good for the gander”.  If we are using sarcasm on friends, we should be able to handle receiving sarcasm in return. If we produce sarcasm, but cannot handle it in return, we should ban ourselves from using it all Sarcasm should not be taken for granted. It can sever or hurt relationships when not used skillfully and appropriately. Use it wisely and carefully. When in doubt do not use it all

Challenge: How often are you sarcastic to others? Are you sensitive to how it affects them? Be aware of your sarcasm and how others respond to it. Especially be aware of your intended motive. Are you as good as receiving as you are at giving? Become more aware of your use of sarcasm and the use of sarcasm around you. Be aware of the differences between creative use of humor and the intent to hurt. Be responsible and careful.

Wisdom: Humor does not include sarcasm, invalid irony, sardonicism, innuendo, or any other form of cruelty. When these things are raised to a high point they can become wit, but unlike the French and the English, we have not been much good at wit since the days of Benjamin Franklin.  James Thurber.    

 

Spiritual: (NIV)

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  Proverbs 15:1

 

But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.  Matthew 5:22

 

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11

 

Prayer: Help me avoid causing pain to others. Help me to be a good example and witness.

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