"But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. Ephesians 5:3-4
How many times have you said, “I’m just joking?” Probably dozens if you’re being honest. Up until I read this scripture, I too used to frequent this phrase.
But, when I heard Pastor Chuck teach on it years ago, I quickly discovered my error. To coarse jest, is to speak or act in a joking manner, to say; “I’m just joking”. When we say this phrase, we are essentially saying there is some truth to what we’re sharing. We may not intend to inflict a wound with our coarse jesting, but it always indicates that there is some truth below the surface of the comment. Why do we joke around? Does it somehow make us feel better to poke at others in a gentle way? Maybe or maybe not, but the Bible warns against this, so we must turn from it.
This can be very difficult if you are quick witted. For those with a razor sharp wit, Paul gives a solution. He says instead of poking at others in fun, try giving thanks for them instead! This is a quick fix to a quick wit. Either you will quit your coarse jesting all together or you will become one of the most gracious and thankful people around! Why not try it… you may be surprised at the results!