When I embark on a 21 day fast I pray about what the Holy Spirit wants me to go after and sarcasm was not on the list.
I never thought in a million years that the Lord would highlight sarcasm in this fast. I admit that I was totally surprised by this yet I know when the Lord is speaking. So I submitted to the Lord and asked for both wisdom and revelation.
I love how the Holy Spirit teaches me and points out even the littlest details to make me a better leader. I believe this is one of them.
The items listed below I own as my growing conviction and don’t in any way want to put them on you the reader. Nonetheless, if the Lord uses what He is teaching me to reveal something to you, then be open.
Here are a few things I sense the Lord showing me in regards to sarcasm and leadership.
- Sarcasm uses irony to criticize. It introduces an element of humor to make the criticism less aggressive, yet the criticism remains cloaked in the sarcasm. Not good.
- The original meaning of sarcasm in the Greek means, “to tear the flesh, to speak bitterly.” This original meaning was a bit shocking to me.
- Sarcasm can be dishonoring and flows against how we are to communicate with others found in Ephesians 4:15 which says that we are to “speak the truth in love.” It’s better to be straight-up with love then to tear-down with sarcasm.
- Sarcasm is not a good leadership skill. It can cause both suspicion and disrespect in the heart of those whom are following the leader. If not checked, the whole team will wind up being sarcastic.
- Sarcasm is hard to manage. We will make mistakes. In light of our American culture, which is very sarcastic, we need to swim upstream by releasing both appreciation and encouragement.
- Sarcasm cheapens relationships by keeping people guessing about what is being said and leaves them to think, “what are they REALLY saying?” You cannot build a level of solid trust and respect with this approach.
- Sarcasm belittles people. Sarcasm makes people feel little, talked down to and made fun of.
- Leadership built on sarcasm is controlling. If we are not careful we will use sarcasm to dominate those whom we lead. For some, this is their style of leadership, which ultimately communicates the possibility of bitterness and insecurity in the heart.
Leading through honor builds up, gives life, confronts in love, appreciates, encourages and brings people around you. Leading through honor respects the dignity of others while intentionally growing them. It’s a far better way to lead.
I’d love to get your thoughts on this?