Monday, April 13, 2009

How Godly Is Teasing / Mocking?

(1) Aim Establishes a pecking order
Target Anyone who is different than the teaser
Result The teaser feels superior, the target feels inferior

(2) Aim To bond the group
Target Anyone who is different than the group
Result The group feels closer to each other, teasing / mocking becomes increasingly satisfying the larger the group is who sides with the teaser, the target feels excluded from the group

(3) Aim To belittle the target
Target Anyone
Result The teaser enjoys belittling, the target feels belittled [including humiliation, rejection, shame]

(4) Aim To appear superior, “fun,” humorous
Target Anyone
Result The teaser laughs, the group laughs, the target may laugh out of humility, may pretend to laugh out of a desire to protect self, or will exhibit emotions that reveal feelings of humiliation, etc.

(5) Aim To establish a sense of belonging
Target Anyone who is different than the group
Result The teaser establishes the boundaries for belonging to the group, members of the group determine to do what it takes to remain within the boundaries, the target is clearly excluded

(6) Aim To give vent to feelings of hostility
Target Any person towards whom the teaser has feelings of hostility [anger, fear, disgust, jealousy, superiority]
Result The teaser can hurt the target without taking responsibility for it, the target is hurt twice: first by the cut, second by being accused of having no sense of humor, by being too sensitive, by being exhorted to “grow up” and so on

If teasing is really fun and really loving, then there would be equal anticipation to be teased as well as to tease. But from my vantage, it appears that people who are in a teasing environment tend to try as hard as they can to conform to whatever the group is like so they won’t be exposed, and therefore teased or mocked. Better to be invisible than a target. When, in this kind of a teasing or mocking environment, do you hear someone say “Oh do me next, do me next!”?

The only time teasing can be of good is when the underlying foundation is built on love, and all are secure in the knowledge of loving and being loved by all the others.

Romans 15:1-5
The Example of Christ
We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written,"The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me." For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,

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