For almost a year, I’ve been studying what exactly does it mean to be gentle? How does this relate to speech? How does this relate to our feelings? Where does emotionalism come into play (and the problems it brings)? My main questions being, “If the definition of gentleness is subjective (based on how a person feels), then what is true Biblical gentleness? Can we speak harshly, yet still be considered gentle? Do we see stronger language in the Bible, and how should we look at these stronger approaches?”
In my journey of studying gentleness, sarcasm certainly gets brought up. What is considered gentle and what is not considered gentle?
Some believe sarcasm (all) is a sin. Some believe we must only speak soft words. Some say we cannot get snarky.
Honestly, I thought stronger words could mean it’s sinful. And it is possible we COULD use strong words (harshness) in a sinful manner. But we need to consider that we do see strong language, sometimes name calling, in the Bible. Which causes major confusion with this viewpoint that we (or others) can’t be sarcastic at all.
We see this sarcasm from a righteous and loving God Who is merciful. We see sassiness from an apostle who then immediately discusses the fruit of the Holy Spirit (which gentleness is part of the fruit of the Spirit) in the same chapter. The same apostle who tells us to imitate him. We know the Bible cannot be unBiblical, God does not sin, and Paul, the apostle, was considered righteous and loving.
So, where are the boundaries? What is the point of sarcasm? When (if ever) should it be used? I want to explore verses that show sarcasm. Verses that, particularly, in today’s age would be considered “mean” or “unkind.” But just because we don’t “like” how some wording makes us feel, does this mean the wording is an unbiblical approach? This is what I want to discover.
And, of course, whenever tone/troubling words gets brought up I have to highly recommend reading Michelle Lesley’s post on: Sacrificing Truth On The Altar Of Tone. This was one of the first resources that really helped me last year, as I started to think about how we should speak, and how we need to think Biblically about what people say.
I think, at least from everything I’ve researched and listened to (so far), it looks like strong language (and I do not mean cursing, but tone or harshness in the manner of speaking) can either be one of two things.
1). It can be a poison, which leads to death.
Or 2). It can be like a bitter medicine that leads to life.
Both can be painful to take. Both can seem contradictory. (Poison can sometimes be sugar-coated). Harshness can lead to life, even if it is bitter at times.
I look forward to digging deeper and seeing what we can find in the word of God. I hope the on-going study will be helpful for you, as well.
To learn more about what Jesus did on the cross and why His atonement sacrifice is so needed please see: Why Did A Loving God Kill His Son? (Does God Hate?) If you do not know the Gospel, do not turn away. If you think you know the Gospel, check out these questions and see how prepared you are for the day someone might ask you why you believe: The Gospel Challenge (30 Question Quiz) – Are You Ready To Defend Your Faith?
Monthly Scripture To Memorize/Meditate On – (ESV) Romans 5:08, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Community Prayer – June ‘21