Our language can either lift others or tear them down. As Christ’s disciples, we can use good language and humor to uplift others and bring light to their lives.
Everybody loves people who have good humor and wit. On the other hand, it is harder to communicate with people who take everything as a joke or use sarcasm as their medium for humor.
In “No Corrupt Communication,” Jennifer Grace Jones talks about her time after college when she made new friends who used sarcasm on a regular basis. Jones’s friends would often exploit the weaknesses of others for the sake of a joke. When fun comes at the expense of someone’s feelings, people can get hurt, and they tend to avoid being around those who employ that type of humor.
“Not all sarcasm is intentionally sinister,” Jones says, “but it has a hypocritical edge because it requires us to say the opposite of what we mean.” Sarcasm can cause confusion for people who are not acquainted with that kind of humor.
In contrast, when Jones returned to her college town to reconnect with old friends, she noticed that their good humor and friendliness uplifted her. “Their kindness soothed like a balm,” she says, “and I resolved to become a better friend, especially when it came to uplifting others with my conversation.”
The apostle Paul teaches, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29). Similarly, the apostle James teaches that “out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing” (James 3:10).
Our words can edify or destroy. We can achieve good humor without bringing down others. Jones explains, “Whereas sarcasm stems from light-mindedness where nothing is taken seriously, true humor blossoms from lightheartedness and helps cultivate beautiful, healthy family cultures.”
Read Jennifer Grace Jones’s article “No Corrupt Communication” to learn more about loving and appropriate communication.
—Mariana Chrisney, Mormon Insights
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