Fleeting Laughter, Lasting Pain

Most of us have been guilty at some point of poking fun at someone without thinking of the pain it might be inflicting on them.  In Peter Ackroyd’s Dickens, he tells the story of John Coleman, who lived opposite the famous author.  He writes:

“Coleman always raised his hat when he saw the young novelist, but his civilities were not necessarily returned, and on one occasion, when Macready [George, an actor friend of Dickens] was leaving the house, the actor saw Coleman and whispered something to Dickens.  ‘They both laughed as they drove off, little dreaming of the pain their laughter left behind.’”

     We need to beware using other people’s appearance, mannerisms, or situation as the basis for our jokes — whether a passing stranger, a work or school associate, or especially a family member.   To us it might be nothing more than the “light entertainment” of a passing moment – but for them it may be a wrenching hurt that leaves a lasting scar.  (James 3:5-6, Proverbs 12:18)

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
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