Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Protected by the Wisdom of God

Good Humor

Written by Dr. Bill Bagents

“Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death, is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, ‘I was only joking’” (Proverbs 26:18-19).

Perhaps you heard of the Australian radio personalities who impersonated Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles as they called a London hospital to inquire about the health of the Duchess of York. When I heard the recording, even I thought that anyone would recognize them as fakes. But a nurse didn’t, she gave them a bit of information that should have remained private, and a few days later the nurse took her own life.

Now, the radio show is cancelled. I presume that the radio personalities are or soon will be unemployed. Their careers may be over. To their credit, they have issued tearful apologies explaining that they meant no harm and never expected the prank to go this far. And I’m willing to believe them. There’s not a hint of a reason to believe that they thought this prank would have such tragic consequences. But they are forever linked to those consequences.

This brings to mind the famous statement of Deuteronomy 10:13 about the commandments and statues of the Lord “which I command you today for your good.” We are so blessed to be protected by the wisdom of God as we keep His word.

We never know how fragile another person might be, but we won’t be tempted to press that person if we follow Matthew 7:12, Matthew 22:39-40, Ephesians, 4:29, and Philippians 2:3-4. Each of those passages would protect us from exposing another person to danger.

We never know when a “joke” based in deception will backfire, but we know Ephesians 4:25, “Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another.” We know this was written to Christians about the treatment of fellow Christians, but we also know that we shouldn’t lie period.

I love good humor—humor that doesn’t endanger others, humor that doesn’t diminish others. I hate evil humor—humor that causes pain, stress, or embarrassment; humor that opens doors for the devil. God has always known the danger and the difference. How blessed we are to access and appreciate His wisdom.

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