I’m not proud of it, but I have a sarcastic streak wide as a country mile.
It comes out indiscriminately around my husband, my offspring, friends or strangers–anyone hopping on my last nerve. Anytime I travel close to the intersection of Tired Street and Stressed-Out Avenue, sarcasm allows me to communicate my irritation in a way that’s less edgy but still sharp enough for you to get the point.
My son told me last week that sarcasm is defined as words meant to hurt, and that alone encourages me to keep it on a short leash. But while I manage to reign it in for a time, something will cause me to eventually drop the reigns altogether. My kids bicker over who gets to sit in the front passenger seat. The mom-friend gives me the cold shoulder. A woman cuts in front of me at Hobby Lobby where the lines already move glacial-forming slow.
(Oh, snap. There I go again.)
Here are three things that help me show grace in the difficult, annoying, who-has-time-for-this moment, especially when I don’t feel like it.
1. Sit on the sarcasm. Snarkiness of any kind is just pride in a cute skirt. (Note to self.) If you’re like me, sitting on sarcasm sometimes means not saying anything at all. Biting my lip and even walking out of a room altogether.
2. Savor validation found in truth, not telling-off. Your true identity is seen by the God who sees everything. It is not our job to set everyone straight, but rather let him set each situation straight. No lasting worth ever came from getting the last word. (My parents would be thrilled to know I am finally understanding this!) While defensive positions and speaking up have their place, I can’t manage everyone’s opinion of me, especially at the cost of grace.
3. Stick to the blessing. Slow down. Let yourself embrace restraint because like we see in the example of Abraham in the Bible, restraint comes with blessing. God met Abraham (Abram) right where he was and gave him a choice. Abram chose to obey God and when He did, he received the blessing. When we choose to obey God by showing grace rather than airing our grouses, we receive a blessing, too.
“I will bless you,” says the God who comes to you where you are. ~Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift
Each of our grace instruments is heart-shaped, and putting ourselves aside and treating others better than we think they deserve is how we keep our own in tune. We can do our best to make one good choice at a time as we see the face of Jesus on others. We can give grace because it’s music to our Father’s ears.
And because heaven knows we need it too.
Wise words, friend. Thank you for sharing your heart.
Love you, Pattie!
Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God says
I really had to chuckle at the line, “Snarkiness of any kind is just pride in a cute skirt”. I will have to share this thought with my kids because we all (and in this I include myself) are bitten by the “snarky bug” from time to time. Too often I have used sarcasm to try to get my point across, when what I should have really used was grace. Thank you for the gentle reminder!
Love you, snarkiness and all,
Thank you, sweet friend.
Dana Butler says
So. so. so. good, Kristen.
Especially this: “I can’t manage everyone’s opinion of me, especially at the cost of grace.” And this: “Let yourself embrace restraint because with it comes the blessing.”
I love that. I want to be so addicted to the whispered “Well done” of my Father in my heart that I choose it over pushing to be heard, to be validated, to be understood, or to get the last word in.
‘Cause His opinion’s the only one that counts. So I can shut up, and feel secure – at the same time. [As opposed to saying way too many words out of my insecure need to prove myself to whoever.]
Remember, Dana. Remember.
Thanks for this, Kristen.
Rosie J Williams says
Thank you Kristin…I needed to read this today for an exact situation of sarcasm, both on the part of my husband and then his reminder to me of my own! I just loved what you wrote today!
I’m so glad it spoke to you, Rosie! I need this reminder EVERY day. Seriously.
Beth Williams says
Wise insightful words. We have no way of dealing with people’s opinion of us. We just have to leave that to God.
I never thought of sarcasm as “words meant to hurt”. Truly we don’t mean to hurt people, but to get our point across & release frustrations. I have sat on sarcasm. You might see me bit my tongue or lip & keep my mouth closed.
Erin Smith says
Thank you so very much for this!! I really needed to hear it. My schedule for work just got changed unexpectedly for me today and I was about to have a gripe fest. I won’t now. 🙂
Thank you for your wonderful wise, encouraging and kind words. You are a huge blessing to me! I love to read your blog, and I love your book!