60 Seconds On Sarcasm

I can think of 2 differences between sarcasm that awakens the conscience or enlivens the mind (which I’m for) and sarcasm that shreds people, and exalts the self (which I’d rebuke as sin):  

Hope and charity.  

Good sarcasm, irony or humor that show the ridiculous to be ridiculous or that bring more people into the conversation by way of generous laughter, believes in the goodness of the Creator despite the badness of the groaning creation.  Good sarcasm knows the point of this story all us human beings are in.  It believes bad people might be won, and that there is a good Author who can win them.  

It also cares.  Not with a flimsy, cheap sort of “caring,” but with the sort that knows that a single human soul is worth more than all the empires and pleasures of history.  It wants to win the argument because it wants to win the man, and if it becomes convinced that it can’t win him, it still knows what was at stake.  If it cuts down the proud and powerful, it does so for the sake of the souls of the spectators, and for the sake of the proud and powerful.  

I say all this because I was thinking tonight:  Much of internet sarcasm is simply bleak and self-serving.  It’s not meant to be cold water on a spiritually sleepy face (good sarcasm); it’s simply a sword thrust from someone who hasn’t yet figured out what a sword is for.  

Wit is a good tool when used to bring men to their senses.  But most tools can be used as murder weapons by foolish people, and the one who uses this one that way will have something to either repent of or answer for. 

And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, ‘Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened… Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.

1 Kings 18:27, 37


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