Jokes and Lying

Would jokes be considered lying, and is lying a mortal sin? For example, I would tell a friend something not true, but funny, like the equivalence of saying to someone “your shoes are untied” when it isn’t really untied.

Don’t get me wrong, i know my limits and i know what not to use as themes for my jokes, it’s just I’ve really been having a hard time with this and it’s usually a reason that makes me go to confessions because I’d think it to be serious, and would do it in full consent and full knowledge.

So yeah, I hope that all of you can help me, and please pray for me as well that God will help me to know what’s truly right from wrong and what sins are venial or mortal. Thanks in advance.

I don’t think this would be considered grave matter (which is required for mortal sin), and whether or not it’s sinful at all is probably based on intent: are you trying to deceive the person (like a “made you look”), or do they know that you are joking from the beginning? My husband will joke around with his guy friends and they all engage in “smack talk.” All of them know they’re not saying anything true, and it’s not mean-spirited, so IMO it’s fine (although not my style).

If the humor is at the expense of another person - by making mean-spirited remarks against them or by trying to make them look foolish, I would avoid it.

Something that innocuous isn’t grave matter. Not even close.

Jokes are not equivalent to lying.

As you observed, one does have to exercise prudence and caution.

I’ve known people who joke around so much and say everything with a straight face that it’s to the point I can never tell when they are telling the truth or just joking around. In general, after a joke is over, I think it should be obvious that it was a joke.

I’ve also known people who use jokes in a passive aggressive way. They get to insult someone, but when they are called on it, they retreat behind “It was just a joke!”

So there are dangers in joking the wrong way. But joking around can be done in a morally licit way. At least, I sure hope so. Or else I’m in big trouble! :eek: :stuck_out_tongue: :o

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