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I love a good joke. From time to time, Ray receives some funny ones from one or another of his classmates. Here are a few one liners from the latest crop:

Today a man knocked on my door and asked for a donation to the local swimming pool, so I gave him a glass of water.

I was going to wear my camouflage shirt today but I couldn’t find it.

Is it wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly?

If tomatoes are technically a fruit, is ketchup a smoothie?

Take my advice — I’m not using it.

I love to laugh. After all, . . .

A joyful heart is good medicine,
But a broken spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22

Charlie Chaplin Movie Poster
Movie Poster for The Vagabond, Starring Comedian Charlie Chaplin, 1916. Courtesy Library of Congress.

As I was saying, I love a good joke. There are good jokes and there are bad jokes, and I don’t mean the kind that polite people don’t say in mixed company. I believe in another standard for a good joke. A good joke doesn’t hurt anyone.

I love to be teased — to a point. My Uncle Ronnie often teased me, saying that I was his next to favorite niece. As you might guess, he only had two. I didn’t mind his teasing at all. It was jolly good fun and it made me feel loved and connected. Of course, it might have made another child feel terrible.

Teasing can hurt children’s feelings — and adult’s feelings, too. A good way to avoid that is to make sure our teasing doesn’t touch on sensitive spots and to remember that those sensitive spots vary from one person to another. One thing is for certain. We should let the person being teased be the judge. We certainly don’t want to tell other people how they ought to feel. When others tell us that our teasing doesn’t feel so good, we should:

. . . be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger . . .
James 1:19b

Have you known someone who doesn’t seem to be able to say anything that is not a joke or teasing? It’s sometimes hard with these folks even to know what is true and what is a joke. It is extremely difficult to connect genuinely with such a person. It doesn’t take long to realize that trying to share your heart with him or her is not going to be satisfying or helpful, and it might even be hurtful.

Words are powerful tools. They can make us laugh and make us cry; they can build us up and tear us down.

Funny words are powerful tools. They can be “good medicine;” they can make us feel loved and connected; they can make us feel alone and misunderstood.

Choosing our words takes discernment, because we want always to use our words the way Paul told the Thessalonians to use theirs.

Therefore encourage one another
and build up one another,
just as you also are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11



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One comment

  1. Excellent advise. Words can hurt very much, even when the person saying them doesn’t necessarily mean for them to be hurtful.

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