One part of today's study talked about this...
Often we can observe an unspoken rule of thumb among Christians. "Inappropriate subjects are admissible as long as they are humorous." We can tell an off-color joke as long as it's funny. We can show disrespect for a person as long as people laugh."
Then the study asked the following questions...
Do you have an appropriate sense of humor?
Are you more likely to laugh at an off-color joke than one that is "clean"?
Do you talk to others about inappropriate subjects?
Is it often for a laugh?
Followed by this observation...
God loves laughter. His Word tells us in Proverbs 17:22 that "a cheerful heart is good medicine." but when it is at the expense of God's character, another's character, or our own character, the medicine becomes toxic. ...We must never compromise holiness for the sake of humor.
After reading this portion of the study this morning, I was embarrassed by comments I made in jest during a planning meeting at church last night. Comments that were disrespectful of another's character and spoken to get a laugh...although I didn't realize it at the time.
I had to write an email to those who attended the meeting (4 wonderful sisters in Christ) and ask their forgiveness.
Man, this self-discipline and spiritual growth stuff is hard! It hurts when God points out your sin, but I'm glad He does that so that we can clear the air between us and so that I can go on from that point - forgiven and clean.
If you have the opportunity to pick up this study by Beth Moore, I would encourage you to do so.
Anyway - I am going to be careful about coarse joking at the expense of anyone's dignity, character or reputation and about telling or laughing at off-color jokes, so PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE....if you know me and hear me being inappropriate or disrespectful for the sake of a laugh (or any other reason)...please stop me and remind me about this incident...okay????
Father, forgive me for the times I've disrespected another for the sake of a laugh and for the times when I've not only told off-colored jokes, but have laughed at them when others tell them. Making something funny does not excuse inappropriate topics. I pray that if I do that again, you will bring it to my attention immediately. I want to be self-controlled. I want to continue to grow so that my life might please you. And I want to honor you in everything I do. Amen
(Copyright© 2011 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)