Jimmy Evans on Sarcasm
The following letter is from Jimmy Evans, founder of MarriageToday. Learn more about Jimmy and the ministry of MarriageToday at www.marriagetoday.org.
One of the greatest enemies of any marriage is sarcasm. To understand why it is so dangerous, let's begin by understanding the definition of the word. Here is the American Heritage Dictionary definition:
1. A cutting, often ironic remark intended to wound.
2. A form of wit that is marked by the use of sarcastic language and is intended to make its victim the butt of contempt or ridicule.
The phrase "intended to wound" says it all. Sarcasm comes from a root word meaning "to rend". It is a punitive act that is designed to make a person pay a price for something they've done or for who they are. In other words, it stems from unresolved anger, bitterness and judgment.
The greatest problem with sarcasm is how broadly it is accepted in our society. Television and movies are full of sarcastic stars that are presented as funny and intelligent because of their "quick wit" and ability to put others in their place. The real problem is that it doesn't work in real life. It is devastating to relationships and the person on the other end of the sarcasm is demeaned and devalued. To put it bluntly sarcasm is sinful and is the devil's instrument to hurt people and ruin relationships.
Unfortunately, sarcasm is a prominent feature in many, if not most marriages. It is equally used by men and women. It is also a glaring sign that anger isn't being dealt with properly and we are trying to use our tongues to punish and ridicule our spouses into compliance.
If you are a sarcastic person, you need to stop. More importantly, you need to be honest with your anger and deal with it in a righteous manner. First of all, admit that you are angry. Secondly, don't justify unrighteous behavior or meanness. Thirdly, forgive your spouse and ask God for the strength to deal with hurts and disappointments righteously. Fourthly, talk to your spouse in a respectful and honest manner concerning your feelings and then leave the results to God.
Never allow yourself to use sarcasm. Also, when you do or are tempted to do so, take responsibility for your actions and for dealing with your anger properly. It is a huge issue in your marriage and in any relationship you value.