I’ve been reading through 1 Corinthians in my daily devotion using a new study Bible. While reading the commentary and explanatory notes I realized for the first time just how often the Apostle Paul used sarcasm. My previous understanding of this letter to the church in Corinth was incomplete when accepting his words literally.
I started thinking about how hard it is to convey subtlety of meanings using only the written word. On more than one ocassion I’ve made what I thought was an inocuous comment on social media, only to be stunned by a critical response.
I think there are two lessons for us here.
The first, and most important, is to not simply skim the Scriptures, hoping to understand everything from our own limited perspective, but to study them using some of the readily available study guides and commentaries.
The second lesson is one I often heard as a child. To avoid misunderstandings and conflict, it is even more apropos in the realm of social media:
If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles.Proverbs 21:23