“Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death, Is the man who deceives his neighbor, And says, “I was only joking!”

– Proverbs 26:18-19

I am not a fan of “practical Jokes.” I don’t dislike them because of personal experiences, though I have had some unpleasant experiences with practical jokers, but rather because of some things said in scripture.

1) The Bible says The Practical Joker Is The Kind Of Man You Would Want To Avoid. Read the Proverbs cited above. The joker is compared to a man who throws firebrands, arrows, and death. This is not the type of person folks want to be around. After all, you never know when your turn will come around for him to “Prank” you. And practical jokes are no fun when you are on the receiving end of them.

2) The Bible Calls It Deception. Again, as per the Proverbs referenced above, practical jokes often involve some type of deception in order to “Fool” the victim of the joke. This proverb doesn’t speak of deception as a good thing. It shouldn’t, because God condemns the concepts of lying and deceiving (Eph. 4:25; Rev 21:8).

3) Practical Jokes Violate The “Golden Rule.” I’m speaking of the Lord’s words in Matthew 7:12, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the law and the prophets.” While some victims may “Laugh it off” when they have been “Pranked,” did they really enjoy it? I doubt it. Practical jokes may come across on the “silver screen” as being entertaining and funny, but they do not translate to “golden moments ” in real life. Victims are usually humiliated, or even harmed by practical jokes. Why would you want to entertain yourself at the expense of others? I’ve heard folks speak of “Harmless practical jokes,” but do they really exist?

4) Practical Jokes Encourage Vengeance. Often, the victim(s) of a practical joke decide to “Teach the joker a lesson” by pulling a prank of their own, sometimes with the hope of curing the practical joker “Once and for all!” Is this how the Lord would want us to deal with such thing? Remember, vengeance belongs to the Lord (Romans 12:17-20). We should “Repay no one evil for evil” (Rom. 12:17). Instead, we must strive to “Overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

Let’s treat our fellow man with love and respect; with kindness and decency. Practical jokes do not include these qualities.

-Michael Pickford