Kidding and joking cannot un-ring a bell. Once we speak something hurtful on purpose, the words "just kidding" only make it worse because now it seems like we are making light of cruelty. Not only that but don't you think people know the differene. We are all guilty of saying mean and hurtful things to people. Once we realize that we have rang that bell (saying something that we regret), a sincere apology should follow.
Even if we have hurt someone unintentionally we should apologize. What if we are not sorry? You know, maybe you said something that needed to be said but it was not in a loving way. More out of anger? Once the dust settles you will feel bad but pride may prevent you from apologizing right away (at least that's the way it is for me).
At that point, give it to God and ask for His guidance and forgiveness. Sometimes an apology isn't necessary and changing your attitude is all it takes. Actions can definitely speak louder than words. If you do apologize, don't continue to make the same mistake. Eventually your apologies will fall on deaf ears.
I am very bold and outspoken. That can be good or it can be very bad. I used to speak w/o thinking which didn't always turn out good. As I get older, I gain wisdom about bridling my tongue or atleast speak in a loving way.
......But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.
James 1:19 New American Standard
Kidding and joking should be kept to a minimum (unless you are a clown) and never at someone's expense. You can be funny w/o acting like a fool. Keep wisdom and knowledge close by.
From my heart to yours,
Starla D Espinoza