Have you ever known anyone that used the phrase, “Just kidding” to misdirect a harsh statement they made about you or someone within earshot? “How do you reach the monkey bars when you’re so short? Just kidding.”
To me, this taunting is more insulting than if they just spoke what they thought. An English friend once said to me, “My friend said that you don’t have the brain of a gnat. But I defended you and said you did!” Now that’s harsh, but he was kidding, or was he?
Thankfully, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is not a harsh taskmaster. I know this because the Spirit of God inspired the Psalmist to write, “He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. (Psalms 103:10) “
How wonderful it is that our Heavenly Father does not seek, to the nth degree, everything He can find to punish us. Instead, He loves us and shows us how to walk in the path of righteousness, desiring a change in us in place of punishment. He does not harshly treat His own.