Sarcasm is sharp, bitter speech accentuated by vocal inflection that deeply hurts the person to whom it is directed.

The Israelites rebuilding the city walls were mocked and criticized yet Nehemiah did not succumb to these scare tactics; instead, he prayed fervently
and continued to do what God had called him to do (Neh 4:1-5). Jesus didn’t respond to the unfounded sarcasm when the soldiers expressed their views, instead He prayed for those who inflicted the pain and suffering on Him (Mt 27:28-31,41-44; Lk 23:34).

If others speak to us with contempt, refrain from responding in like manner as that will lead to arguing with further negative and destructive outbursts which should not happen (Jas 3:8-10). Rather, with grace, hear them out and if there is some truth in their pointed comments, endeavour to humbly

   Let no unwholesome word come from                          your mouth – Ephesians 4:29

correct these faults in your life, so you benefit from the unpleasant experience. By responding in the opposite spirit, blessing and speaking well to those who speak insulting and disrespectfully of us, we are doing good and can silence the ignorant talk of foolish men (1 Pet 2:15, 3:9). The Bible teaches, we are answerable for all our words and we are to "Do to others as we would like done to us" (Mt 12:36; Lk 6:31).

See also: criticism, golden rule, opposite spirit, reaction, response, ridicule, words.

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