Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I am only joking!”
The sluggard, the drunkard, the wicked are being described in chapter 26 of Proverbs. A lot of comparisons are being made with things in this world that you would compare to the person that acts in certain ways. These are seemingly warnings to the reader as to not be like this lest you find yourself despaired and falling away. Verse 19 got me as it something I find myself saying all the time.
I really want to say something harsh, rude, confrontational, and just straight up bluntly to the person but I can’t, or can I? Oh, I can say it and then say, ” HA I am only joking!” Isn’t that what we do with people? We say what we really feel, what we really believe and then follow it up with I am only kidding. The writer here is making it clear that this is wicked and not of the Lord. Why do I do that to people? Why do I feel entitled to share terrible hurtful deathly things with people only to follow it up with I am only joking in hopes they hear what I want them to hear. The bible calls this person a “Madman.” We have been called to love our neighbor not destroy them.
A couple things for me this morning:
1. Joking with people is never in the heart of uplifting, encouraging, and building them up. I need to stop
2. Love my neighbor rather than destroy them.
3. Help me to compare myself to Jesus, not other people.
4. Pray for humility and for the Spirit to lead me daily.
Forgive me for when I have torn people down only to follow it with, “I am joking.” I know in my heart that is not true and that is not honoring you. Help me be lead by your Spirit and walk not according to my flesh but according to your Spirit.