Humor is a tricky thing. It has the ability to bring people together and make them laugh, but it also has the power to offend.

There are all sorts of jokes out there. Some are clean and appropriate for all audiences. Others are a little more risqué and may not be suitable for younger crowds. And then there are the really insensitive jokes, the ones that make you groan and cringe, wondering what the person was thinking when they came up with it.

When it comes to jokes, there’s a fine line between what’s funny and what’s offensive. Sometimes, people cross that line without meaning to. They’re purposely trying to be funny, doing their best to come up with something that will make people laugh but end up cracking a line that’s not exactly tasteful instead. They may tell bad jokes because they just don’t know any better. On the other hand, there are also some people who disguise their snarky comments as jokes to intentionally insult a person. These are just downright mean and disrespectful.

Offensive jokes can hurt feelings or even cause anger. In some cases, it might even escalate to physical violence.

That’s why God dislikes a malicious tongue. His stance is clear: rude jokes are not funny and they should not be tolerated. After all, humor is supposed to be about making people feel good, not making them feel bad. When we use humor to put others down, or to make fun of their appearance or beliefs, we’re not exactly following the Lord’s commandment to “love thy neighbor.” God wants us to be respectful of all people, regardless of their race, religion, or background. Making jokes that could be seen as offensive is not in line with his teachings. The scripture will tell you why:

Ephesians 5:4 NIV

Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

Proverbs 26:18-19 NIV

Like a maniac shooting
    flaming arrows of death
is one who deceives their neighbor
    and says, “I was only joking!”

Matthew 12:36 NIV

But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.

Ephesians 4:29 NIV

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Proverbs 17:22 NIV

A cheerful heart is good medicine,
    but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.