Now that it is no longer April Fool’s Day, there may be some out there who are wondering why I am waiting until now to write this post. Part of it can be explained by my work schedule (I am a coyote working full time) and general busyness yesterday afternoon. For the rest, I wanted to be able to talk about this outside the pranks and other chaos.
In keeping with my species, I am not above the occasional prank. When I was younger, I would engage in silly acts such as sewing a victim’s socks and undergarments together and placing them back in the drawer, putting a very-visible rubber band around the spray nozzle beside the sink, or put food coloring in the milk. A couple years back, a friend and I swapped nicks on an IRC channel and kept it up for a while, leaving a couple hints that we were not who we said we were, but still confusing some who came in. Part of the challenge there was making sure we adopted each other’s mannerisms and vocabulary.
But I do not do this much anymore.
Humor and jokes have their place and are okay, but especially around 1 April it is too easy and common for jokes to get out of hand, and become humor at another’s expense. This is not good. It cuts the victim down and makes him appear to be a fool, and the one devising the prank to be superior. It goes against what Paul told the church at Ephesus as well: “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29, NASB) Does your humor edify? If not, then you should not do it. It is not loving.
There is also this proverb: Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows and death, so is the man who deceives his neighbor, and says, “Was I not joking?” (Proverbs 26:18-19, NASB) This includes not only humor that makes fun of a friend, but also when people tell very-convincing stories to make others worry or be upset, and then follow up the stories with an admission that the story was a lie. This is cruelty. It is not acceptable any other day of the year, so why have a day where it is permissible to lie to another?