Friday, June 21, 2013

"Just Kidding"--Really???

Today is the final day of our 24th week, reading the Bible together in a year.  Our scriptures today are:  Proverbs 26-28; 1 Thess 3

For as long as I can remember, Saturday Night Live has had a segment from time to time, called "Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handy."  You see nobody on camera--only beach scenes and clouds, etc...with a voice actor sharing ideas that seem deep but are really just weird.  One of Jack Handy's "deep thoughts" is:

If aliens from outer space ever come and we show them our civilization and they make fun of it, we should say we were just kidding, that this isn't really our civilization, but a gag we hoped they would like. Then we tell them to come back in twenty years to see our REAL civilization. After that, we start a crash program of coming up with an impressive new civilization. Either that, or just shoot down the aliens as they're waving good-bye.

Lately, a lot of folks have been using the phrase "just kidding" when they're not really kidding.  It's a way of venturing out to say something that you're not quite sure others will accept.  Then, if they don't accept what you're saying, you claim you're just kidding.  Often, the thing that you're "just kidding" about may be an insult, and by saying "just kidding," you think you're taking it back.  

I thought that this was only my observation at first, but then I found a discussion about it on Yahoo Answers:

Q:  Why do people say "just kidding" after they say something insulting, even when they weren't kidding?I've had people tell me I was fat, ugly, etc, and then right after saying that they'd say "just kidding", as though it erases what they just said. However, I'm pretty sure they're not kidding, and they just want to feel better about insulting me. Does anyone believe that "just kidding" thing makes insulting someone less rude? 

Best Answer - Chosen by VotersYour feelings are dead on. You see it, you are onto their tricks.
They use the "just kidding" remark to nullify and control your feelings even more. It is similar to putting your right to feel hurt into a strait jacket.
In other words, first they insulted you so that you could feel badly then they say "just kidding" to take away your right to feel badly.
It is designed to hurt you twice and to hurt you more. They know what they're doing but they do not care about you.

Proverbs 26:18-19 says, "Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I am only joking!”

Some people think that they can say anything they want, and as long as they say "just kidding" afterwards, they are no longer accountable for what they let come out of their lips.  It's true that laughter is good medicine, but not all jokes are funny--and not every time that somebody says "just kidding" are they really joking.

Click here to read an article about a man who was arrested in Seattle earlier this month, for allegedly brandishing a (strange) weapon and threatening to kill a bartender and bouncer.  According to the report, "Despite telling officers he was just kidding when he threatened to kill the bartender and bouncer, the suspect was arrested for investigation of harassment."

God's people need to be truthful in what they say.  If you have a hard truth to tell someone, the Bible says to "speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15)."  This doesn't mean you get to say whatever you want, but only those things that are intended to build a person up.  Even if it's a word of rebuke or correction, it needs to be spoken with compassion.  Then, you need to own what you say.  Don't dismiss your responsibility for having said it.  Be truthful to other people and truthful to yourself about what you really say and think.  And don't hide behind "just kidding."  Because it really isn't all that funny.

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