Proverbs 26: King James Bible
Wicked Sense of Humor – Daily Devotion of Proverbs chapter twenty six, Verses 18-19
18 As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, 19 So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?
Daily Inspiration from These Verses – Wicked Sense of Humor
I’ve caught people using this piece of scripture in the past, as a way to say the Lord doesn’t want us joking around. I take issue with that particular rendering of this piece of scripture, because that’s not what it’s saying at all. There’s a difference between a sense of humor and a wicked sense of humor.
Anybody can joke around without being deceitful in a manner that would cause harm to his neighbor, right? Look at what is actually included in the scriptures: weaponry and deceit. Sounds to me like the opposite of funny, and it doesn’t sound like we’re talking about jokes at all.
Being deceitful can be every bit as harmful as any kind of weapon, and someone who is behaving this way is as someone ready, willing, and able, to use these weapons. This verse is telling us about a type of person, or a particular motive behind someone’s actions. We see this a lot in the book of Proverbs.
Sometimes people a use wicked sense of humor as an excuse after being caught. When I read the scriptures above, I think of someone caught in a lie, then saying he was just kidding after the fact, because to lead anyone to believe otherwise is damning. The original wicked intention (lying) is smoothed over by another deceitful lie. Former was to fulfill whatever selfish purpose there was, the latter was to save his own bacon. Still… No humor involved.
Another particularly cruel example that I’ve witnessed, is the phony scratch card when it was still a new thing. I caught one video years ago, of someone receiving one of these at a birthday party. He scratched it off, and found that he won it all!
He was on top of the world, and was so relieved that his bills would get paid, and have enough left over to take care of everything else he needed to pay for. He was shouting victoriously, laughing, cheering, showing everyone, and was on cloud nine.
After his celebration, someone broke the news to him. It actually took a few times to try to convince him that it was fake. But I’ll never forget the look on the man’s face, and being able to observe his joy being sucked right out of him, as he turned from one extreme to another. The man was either brought to tears, or came close to it.
However, the intentions were different in this situation. This was an honest to goodness joke or prank being played. What I mean is, there wasn’t the intention to do anything other than mess with the guy in a joking manner. They weren’t trying to be wicked like we saw in the first example. They were either friends or family of the guy.
I’m fairly confident that the guy’s reaction was a shock to those who gave the ticket. This is a perfect example of why having a wicked sense of humor can cause damage to people. We haven’t got a clue what rests in the heart of our neighbor.
We might think we do, but who are we to know what’s in a man’s heart? Only the Lord truly knows. When someone plays a prank or jokes around with their neighbor in a wicked way but with no harmful intentions, it’s because they assume that the neighbor will join them in thinking it is funny (eventually). That’s just an assumption of knowing how it would impact him.
Some people can take it, some people appear to be taking it but inside they are not, some people just flat out get hurt. The best way to remedy this, is not to do it at all. We’re talking about deceit causing harm, and wrapped in a bow called humor. That’s not humor.
A wicked sense of humor in my mind, is different than having a sick sense of humor. A sick sense of humor is a way to say that you find things funny that you probably shouldn’t. I don’t think it has anything to do with being wicked.
The Lord is teaching us in the scriptures above to look out for people that would cause you harm and blame it on a joke. He’s also teaching us to not partake in what would require a wicked sense of humor.
God knows what humor is. He is the one who has given us a sense of humor in the first place. Why not take his advice concerning what kind of humor to partake in? Plus, I believe that the Lord himself enjoys a great sense of humor.
I would inject that it is a part of his character that we tend to dismiss in the face of knowing how serious his role is, with little things like holding all of existence together. How often do we think of the Lord laughing? I believe that laughter is a trait that we get directly from him.
Humor is just like anything else that the Lord has given. He gives us talents to use for his glory, but do we? He gives us abilities to do whatever, do we use them wisely? He’s given us a sense of humor, do we use it wisely?
Just like anything else the Lord has given, this world takes great joy in taking it and causing it to become wicked in the hands of those who care not for the Lord. Should be no surprise to any of us, and I’m certain that it’s no surprise to him.
Related New Testament Scripture
Luke 6: King James Bible
21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
John 15: King James Bible
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
John 17: King James Bible
13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
Romans 14: King James Bible
17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Ephesians 5: King James Bible
3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whore-monger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Thank you for the scriptures that you’ve given to instruct us in you ways and things that are not your ways. You’ve given us all a measure of humor. Please fine tune us in this area of our lives, as to not bring harm upon anyone else in any way, under the guise or reasoning of humor. Teach us what you find humorous, and show it to us, so that we can all partake in humor in the manner that you’ve intended. Also keep us separate from those who would use humor as an excuse to harm us as well Lord. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we pray.
Have you ever been on the wrong end of someone else’s wicked sense of humor?
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 7 P.60 – Keep my Commandments
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 4 P.31 – Keep my Commandments and Live
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 11 P.112 – A Hypocrite
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 19 P. 268 – To Keep
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 3 P.28 – Love thy Neighbor