Why it is Unwise for Believers to Tell Jokes

Do you know any joke that Jesus told? Neither do I. For believers, there is no room for error when it comes to our words.

The word of God is clear about why as a believer you should never say anything that is not true for the sake of entertaining people.

But why?

Careless Words

Jesus clearly mentioned that everyone will give account of every careless word he utters.

But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment.

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Matthew 12:36

In the spiritual realm, every word is taken for what it is. Is God not taken by His word as well? Why should human beings be exempted?

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Remember the arm bearer of the King who asked if Elisha’s word would be fulfilled even if the heavens were to open?

Elisha replied, “Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord says: About this time tomorrow, a seah of the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.”

The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?”

“You will see it with your own eyes,” answered Elisha, “but you will not eat any of it!”

2nd Kings 7:1-2

We know how things unfolded the next day. The officer saw the word of Elisha manifest but he never ate of it.

Whether the officer was joking when he questioned the prophet or not, the truth remains that he paid for his carelessness.

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The children of Israel made careless claims and the Lord did it to them according to their word.

All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?”

Numbers 14:2-3

Here is what God replied…

28 So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: 29 In this wilderness your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me.

Numbers 14:28-29

Careless words are dangerous since you will be taken for what you say.

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Paul, with this revelation, urged believers to avoid coarse joking.

Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

Ephesians 5:4

Words are Arrows

In the spiritual realm, words come out as arrows, spears and swords. Remember the description of the word of God given in Hebrews?

The author says the word of God is sharper than any double edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). John, while describing Jesus in Revelations, writes that in His mouth is a sharp sword (Revelations 19:15).

The same revelation is backed up by the writings of Solomon.

The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

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Proverbs 12:18

He then goes ahead to warn against joking since words are arrows.

18 Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death 19 is one who deceives their neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”

Proverbs 26:18-19

With all that evidence, it is clear that a believer should never utter careless words. The consequences of speaking without thinking are terrible.

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The Bible tells us that the power of life and death is in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). James writes and says that the tongue is a small organ in the body but it boasts of great things just like a small spark can cause a forest fire (James 3:5).

Parting Shot

As a believer, seek to speak only what is right and beneficial. Put aside all careless and idle words. Avoid using curse words and other obscene language.

11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God…

1st Peter 4:11a

May the Spirit of God lead you in your utterance! May you speak the oracles of God effortlessly! To God be all the glory!