Is Just Kidding in the Bible?

horse joking around with a hat

“Hey, relax. I’m just kidding.”

Simple enough. right? What, can’t take a joke? You shouldn’t have to. And horsing around isn’t a sport.

In truth, it’s worse than a sport.

Prov 26:18-19

As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?

Look it up in your Bible. Maybe yours reads like this: “…and says, ‘I was only joking.'”

Throwing around barbs as a so-called term of endearment isn’t friendly. In fact, it’s the opposite.

Punk’d isn’t pleasant. Horsing around isn’t a sport.

No kidding.

In a Hurry to Battle?

Woman Outraged While Driving

We live in such a time that outrage is a sport of sorts. There seems to be an addiction, almost like outrage porn.

  • Someone cuts you off in traffic going way too fast. Now you’re upset! You follow them … to the Emergency Room entrance. They are running into the hospital with their child.
  • Someone looks in your direction from across the street and makes weird faces and gestures with their hand. You yell at them from your side, “What’s your problem?” They don’t hear you. They are too busy trying to get the bee off of them without spilling their latte.
  • Someone manipulates a headline or photoshops an image and the buzz feeds the finger-pointers and meme mongrels.

Proverbs 25:8 warns us to slow things down:

Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.

Often, we enter a battle without knowing the grounds or even what the battle is about. The battle has become the game. Outrage the addiction. Facebook the needle?

Slow down. Keep your wood off the fire (Prov 26:20). Don’t be in a hurry to battle.

There might not be one worth fighting.

If you do find a battle, settle it amicably and privately (Prov 25:9).

Check Your Thoughts

man thinking

As I was checking out at the grocery store, my eye got caught and lust practically took over.

A Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

For me, these little goodies are not profitable. Money I shouldn’t spend. Sugar I shouldn’t deposit. Habits quicker getting into than out.  Plus, my wife, being allergic to chocolate, probably shouldn’t kiss lips which have given such entry.

For me, even thinking of a candy is foolish. For me. Maybe not for you. We might each have our own foolish thoughts.

And foolish thoughts lead to foolish deeds. That’s probably why Prov 24:9 tells me:

The thought of foolishness is sin

Also, in 2Cor 1:5, I am told to throw away such imaginative thoughts, bringing into captivity every thought for Christ’s sake.

Foolish thoughts, when given their course, lead to foolish deeds.

In plain, “Pthu to Sin!” and away with foolish thoughts.


Trading for Truth

exchanging money

What are you willing to give up?

In Prov 23:23, the parameters of trading for truth are clear transactionally: Give up to get it; once gotten, don’t give it up.

Before realizing salvation’s free gift, I was told I should be willing to give up the music I listened to most. I thought the guy was nuts. First, because I invested a lot in the music, both time and money. Second, because the music I was listening to at the time was a lot of Dean Martin, Buddy Greco, Steve Lawrence type music. Not too noisy or too nasty.

Upon salvation, my desire and focus was thirsty for hymns and gospel. I was willing to trade my time and music for this new (to me) music and invest time to learn the songs. I was willing, indeed yearning, to dive in and study the Bible and learn from others. Good trade.

I was willing to give up everything. Not for salvation, but because of salvation.

Sadly, there have been times in life where I’ve traded it back. Letting go of truths to follow folly. Oops. Bad trade.

Again, it’s made clear in Prov 23:23

Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

Like a kid and their security blanket, hang on to Truth for life. Don’t give it up for nothing. Not time, money, interests, reputation.

Intake and Output

Child Listens Intently

Bend your ear to hear. Apply your heart to act.

In Prov 22:17, we are encouraged to hear the words of the wise, and apply our heart to what we learn.

Intake and Output.

In Bible reading, I sometimes realize I should to slow down, even stop and refocus, so that I might hear what God’s Word has to say. That’s the intake.

There are times as I go about my day, I sometimes realize I should slow down, even stop and refocus, so I that I might do what the Holy Spirit is giving me unction to do. At times to engage with people. At times to enter into prayer. That’s the output.

Bible Study and PrayerIncline Your Ear. Apply what you learn.