Jokes are convenient ways to turn frustrating situations or individuals into something we can understand and control. When a situation is turned into a joke, we control the punch line. When a person is turned into a joke, the joke teller holds the power over the person (the punch line).
Before you make that crack about your senior pastor, or about that one board member or elder, check yourself. Before you tear down your parents with “witty” jokes, check yourself. Before you make a generalized statement about men or women, or about kids these days, check yourself. Or before you tear down your teacher or a politician, check yourself.
Instead, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32)