Excuse me if I struggle with this post my back is sore from being thrown under a bus. At a meeting last night it was revealed that I was solely responsible for the choice of t-shirt color the last two years of our middle school camp. Let’s just say the colors were ugly.
Being the butt of the joke wasn’t a big deal, everyone had a good laugh. Unfortunately, there have been times when I’ve been a part of a joke that’s gone too far. It’s even more unfortunate when we as youth ministers take it too far with our students or even ministers. But sometimes we don’t know until it’s too late, so what are the warning signs that your jokes are heading in the wrong direction?
- When No One Laughs – It’s kind of obvious that the joke isn’t funny if no one is laughing, but you’ll know the severity if people cringe.
- When The Comeback is Cold – When you hit a nerve you’ll get a reaction. I know some people can be overactive but that should be sign not to mess with them. It’s not like you would go up to a lion and punch in the face.
- When People Stop Trusting You – If your jokes are cruel and offensive people will find it hard to trust you because they think you lack compassion. People will still talk to you but they just won’t go deep because last thing a vulnerable person wants is to be hurt.
I have nothing against joking around and pranking but I just know it stinks when we go too far. I struggle with the tension myself, it’s something I’m trying to take one step at a time. When it comes to having fun make sure you work on a valid and authentic relationship first.
Where do you draw the line when it comes to joking around?