Sharing Life: When Humor is NOT Funny

Today for our Sharing Life series I am recycling a post from many years ago that has gotten a lot of traffic. It is a message that is especially tender to me because God took me to the woodshed over it. In fact, my name is emblazoned on the woodshed wall because God seems to take me there quite often. It is called sanctification, or cleaning me up. You too?

Sharing Life When Humor is Not Funny

In this post we are reminded that sometimes humor is not funny.


Recently I attended a local community event and overheard a conversation that disturbed me greatly. A couple sitting near me were discussing making fun of an obese gentleman who was part of the event, but was not close enough to hear their conversation. After a few moments, their conversation turned to a different topic, but I was left pondering what I had heard.

Allow me to offer a disclaimer of which I am not proud: ten years ago I probably would have joined in the discussion and laughed right along with the couple.

I can still remember my mother telling me, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Unfortunately I did not learn that lesson very well and for many, many years used my tongue to make fun of others and talk about them behind their backs for a host of reasons. Unconsciously, I suppose I reasoned that as long as the person did not actually hear me doing it, I was safe. In truth, it really never occurred to me that my actions were displeasing to God and a sad statement about my relationship with Jesus. My actions spoke like a megaphone to the world about the state of my character. I called myself a Christian, but I was a hypocrite. I looked nothing like Jesus when I made fun of others and talked about them behind their backs. My words were neither encouraging or helpful to anyone.

In 2008 I was confronted with a quote from a flip calendar I received when I attended one of the awesome CLASS speaker training events. The quote by Patsy Clairmont was like a sword piercing deeply within my heart and it placed me under a wagonload of conviction about my actions and words. Consider the quote:

Humor: if it is at someone else’s expense, it isn’t funny.

Suddenly I saw my actions for what they were: sin that grieved the heart of God. I was making fun of another person just so I could have a laugh or, Lord, help me, feel superior to another person. What arrogance! What ugliness!

Over the past few years, I have consistently prayed for the Lord to help me see my sin as He sees it and to help me turn from it. He is doing that!

 Do you make fun of others? Do you talk about others behind their backs and in a way that is not pleasing to the Lord? I encourage you to ask the Lord to reveal any tendencies toward this kind of sin in your heart. I know you want to leave a godly legacy and getting rid of this sin is one way to do just that.

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Now, here are links to some books that are funny.

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  • Rachelle Craig

    Oh how this describes me before I was convicted of talking about other people. I used to talk about and make fun of people so bad that it breaks my heart now! I will never forget the day God convicted me of this horrible habit, and I am so grateful that He did! I was in the car with my husband, and a girl I didn’t know or had never seen before in my life was simply walking down the Street. I made such rude comments about the way she was dressed and how “dirty” she looked. As soon as the words came out of my mouth God convicted my heart! I felt terrible, and asked for forgiveness! Since that day if I have even the slightest thought come to mind about making fun of or judging others, I have learned to take it captive and hand it to God. We are ALL created in His image, and who am I to make fun of or judge others? Thank you for this reminder today, Leah!

    • Rachelle, thank you for stopping in and offering encouragement to us to take EVERY thought captive. You are so right…we are all created in God’s image. I’m so thankful that God doesn’t leave us to soak in our sin, but rather convicts us and wants us to be free of it. Blessings to you, Rachelle.