Sarcasm: The All-Purpose Trust Buster
by Deb DeArmond
“I’m bilingual,” his T-shirt read. “Sarcasm is my second language.”
I didn’t find it amusing. Sarcasm is my least favorite form of communication.
Surprisingly painful is how sarcasm almost always lands for me. It catches me off guard and cuts me to the quick. It causes my heart to recoil and beat a retreat. And I don’t recover quickly.
I saw a sign recently in a shop that said,” Sarcasm is what keeps me from telling you how I really feel.” So, “Gee, what an Einstein” translates as “You are a nitwit.” The problem is that the real message comes across loud and clear, even if it takes a moment to decipher it.
The Word of God directs us to speak the truth, to engage in genuine expression of our thoughts and feelings. He also tells us how to do this in alignment with His word and character.
“Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church” (Ephesians 4:14-15, NLT).
Lies that sound like the truth. That’s a great definition of sarcasm. For a moment, it sounds like a compliment…and then you get it. Reality sets in. And if exposed often enough to this pain, we may develop a thick protective shell to prevent the damage. Under the guise of fun, it compromises trust and can damage our relationships.
Speaking the truth requires love. Without love, it’s just a recitation of the facts, and facts reach the head, not the heart. The mature Christ follower puts away a cheap imitation of truth.
So, if you see the guy with the T-shirt that reads, “Sarcasm. Just one of the services I offer,” keep on walking. He’s not your kind of guy.