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KJV and NKJV Scripture

–  Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. – Ephesians 5:4

– Foolish talking and jesting aren’t the ways in which Christian cheerfulness should ever express itself, but rather giving of thanks.  A relationship with Jesus is the source of all joy and gladness in life.  Expressed in gratitude and praise, not jokes – from Charles Hodge

The word jesting means to joke around, fool around, tease, and make wise cracks.  It can involve tossing around a little sarcasm now and then.  Intents to jest are behind the generation of comedy routines and sketches.  However, even if done in social situations, usually among family and friends well-acquainted with each other, it is often labeled as “just having fun.”

However, there isn’t anything funny about faith, and there isn’t anything comical about Christianity – or being a believer.  All foolish talking leads to foolish walking, and not redeeming the time wisely as God commands us to (Ephesians 5:15-16).  Christ did not go around cracking jokes, poking fun at people, or engaging in good-natured ribbing with any person.

We never read of Jesus saying things like “I didn’t mean to hurt you with that joke.  I was just kidding.” Christ only spoke words given by God (John 12:49), and God does not joke around.  Eternity is not a laughing matter.  It is nothing to make light of, – as the marriage dinner parable points out (Matthew 22:1-5).  There isn’t any levity in being left behind.

God warns us throughout His Word about the effect our words have on others.  Life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21).  However, mouths speak out of the heart’s abundance (Luke 6:45).  Filling up on the world brings forth foolish talking, wise cracking, sarcasm, and jesting.  Filling up on the Word brings forth joy in Jesus; not jokes.

No matter how harmless any attempts at humor may seem, they can stab at, then pierce somebody’s heart (Proverbs 12:18).  Reopening emotional wounds from years ago, scars the recipient of the jesting thought were finally healed.  New damage and pain perhaps never intended is created, even if the injured soul laughs it off like it did not hurt – when it really did.

As innocent as jesting might appear, it is not godly. Seemingly gentle teasing can easily cross the line into some taunting, an emotional form of bullying.  Making wise cracks is not only showing a lack of wisdom, but failing to ask God for it (James 1:5), so jesting stops. Sarcasm, from the Greek “sarkazein” (to strip off the flesh) – is a close cousin of scoffing and mockery.

Scoffing God will mark man’s last days as scores walk after their own lusts (2 Peter 3:3).  And, God will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7).  Both Abraham and Sarah scoffed at and mocked God’s promise to deliver them a child in their advanced ages (Genesis 17:17, 18:11-15).  Even though both laughed silently in their heart, God heard, and didn’t see any humor in the situation.

Justification of sins does not involve jesting, foolish talking is not expressing faith, and holiness does not include humor.  It all does involve humble obedience (Philippians 2:8), and mutual abidance (John 15:1-6). One cannot continue the “just kidding” comments of jesting, the wise cracking comedy of the old man, and learn Christ as commanded (Ephesians 4:20-32).

 

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KJV and NKJV Scripture

– We are unprofitable servants.  We have done that which was our duty to do. – Luke 17:10

– And turn ye not aside; for then should ye go after vain things which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain. – 1 Samuel 12:21

Most people who have jobs probably like and enjoy receiving small tokens of appreciation from time to time for their good work.  Every now and then, it is also nice to receive some raises, bonuses, and an occasional promotion.  Otherwise, who would ever want to keep working for any company that never noticed the efforts of those who worked for them?

Being unappreciated can cause some to start seeking new jobs elsewhere – maybe a different place where supervisors are known to openly show their gratitude for work well done on a regular basis.  Efforts usually feel much more worthwhile when tangible rewards are given.  However, such desires in any Christian doing work for God reveal a dangerous and worldly mind.  

A mind where believers expect recognition, love gifts, and follow after earthly reward or profit for all they do in the Lord’s name.  It is no different now than it was back in Biblical days (Hosea 9:1, Isaiah 1:23, Malachi 3:14).  However, we don’t do a little bit of work for God, then sit back and wait for blessings and rewards before going out to work some more (Luke 17:7-10).

All of the work we do for God is our reward.  It is not a means to get one.  It is reckoned of debt, not grace (Romans 4:4).  We’re to do our duty as commanded. Not for what we may think is due back in return – but for what God gave us at the Cross.  Christ paid the ultimate price.  Therefore, He doesn’t owe us a thing in life.  We are the ones who owe Him everything.

We are God’s unprofitable servants on this earth – not profitable employees.  The King is served by the field. It is not the other way around (Ecclesiastes 5:9).  We did not bring anything into this world, and it is certain we cannot carry anything out (1 Timothy 6:7).  All the earthly blessings we may think God is bestowing upon us in our life – will be left behind when we die.

God tells us to take heed if we depart from Him and turn aside after Satan in unbelief (Hebrews 3:12-19, 1 Timothy 5:15).  Part of unbelief is if we run greedily after the error of Baal (Jude 1:11).  Baal is where we get Beelzebub (2 Kings 1:6).  Satan is worshipped and served more if we think we should be served with profit from God.  It makes Him a liar (Romans 1:25).

This is holding the truth in unrighteousness, and it is having a foolish heart (Romans 1:18-21).  Such belief says He should be thanking and giving us His glory for being such good Christians (Mark 10:18) – falling all over us with worldly favor and blessings (Romans 2:11).  This is a lack of understanding.  It is seeking earthly good; but not seeking God (Romans 3:11-12).

A worldly mind equates work with wages.  Good and steadily dedicated work over time may be rewarded with a raise.  However, if we’ve been born again of the Spirit (John 3:5), we have been given Christ’s mind (1 Corinthians 2:16).  It says to humbly obey God until death just as Jesus did (Philippians 2:8) – without earthly profit or gain on the way (Jude 1:11).

God requires us to have an unwavering walk with His Son down heaven’s narrow path (Matthew 7:14).  If we ever anticipate any worldly presents and blessings from Him for work we do, we don’t have the steadfast faith needed to be made partakers of Jesus at the end (Hebrews 3:14).  What we have is a desire for steady profit; which actually creates a stop-and-go walk.

We’re saying to Him we will obey and do our duty a short while – then stop and collect our reward first before we proceed any further (Luke 17:7-10).  It is telling Him we still have affections focused on fleeting worldly things as a reason to stay faithful; and not on things above (Colossians 3:2).  We are still laying up treasures for ourselves on earth (Matthew 6:19-20).

We are plainly letting Him know we are still seeking a better country here; and not willing to wait with the confidence and patience required for a better country awaiting in heaven (Hebrews 10:35-36, 11:13-15). However, what does it matter if we should gain a whole world of profit during our brief life (James 4:14) – if we lose our soul in the end (Mark 8:36)?

 

 

 

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