I was only joking

“I Was Only Joking!”
Words matter. They have the power to encourage, enlighten, and enhance the lives of others. At the same time, words also have the power to discourage, disappoint, and destroy people. Most certainly, all of us have been the recipients of both the positive and negative effects of words that have been spoken to us.
Many people who use words to hurt others do so in a very deceitful way. They will insult an individual but then try to cover their intent by saying, “I was only joking!” For example, someone might say, “You are such a loser.” After a short pause, they will cover their insult and say, “Oh, I was only joking.” Truly, that is not funny at all. As a matter of fact, it is despicable.
The Bible has something to say about such hurtful tactics. Proverbs (26:18) says, “Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death, is the man who deceives his neighbor, and says, “I was only joking!” The message of Proverbs (26:18) is clear: the person who deceives others and then tries to cover it up with the language of “I was only joking!” is a dangerous and deadly person. They are dangerous because they know many others will see that type of so-called humor as being acceptable and harmless. They are deadly because their words have the power to destroy the emotional well-being of those who are recipients of such aggression.
As Christians, let us never be found using our words in this manner. We should never seek to destroy the lives of others with our words, and we should especially never seek to destroy the lives of others with the arrow of “I was only joking!” Such behavior and language is no joking matter!