Are you a snarky person? What’s a snarky person? A snarky person is one who gives a sarcastic, cutting, or biting response to questions or makes critical, cutting remarks about someone or something. Yes, snarky is a real word. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “Some have questioned whether snarky is a real word. There can be no doubt that it is; the adjective has been recorded in English since 1906. Its original meaning, “crotchety, snappish,” has largely been overtaken, however, by the far more frequently-encountered sense “sarcastic, impertinent or irreverent.”
Some learned to be snarky by growing up in families which made snarky remarks regularly and put others down by belittling them. For them, snarkiness is a normal way of speaking and it is a difficult habit to break. Their default is to speak in snarky terms about others. With the Lord’s help it is a habit which can be broken but not easily or without intentional effort.
What does God think of snarky speech? He says, “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). God warns us to not speak in snarky terms but rather build others up through our speech. The word “unwholesome” sounds pretty mild, doesn’t it? The Greek word means “rotten or putrid” and is used of fruit that has gone bad. Snarky speech is rotten, putrid, foul-smelling speech that pollutes us and ought not to characterize a Christian.
Finally, consider the term “edification” in that same verse. Originally it meant to construct a building. We are God’s temple. The Holy Spirit dwells in every born again believer. We are His building. He uses the words of others to build us up or tear us down. Which are you, the construction crew or the demolition team? Snarky people populate the demolition team. Don’t join them, their speech stinks!
“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3),