God commands us to use edifying speech.
The Bible says in Romans 15:2 “Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.”
To edify means to “build up” (see the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance with Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries #s 3619, 3624, and 1430 in the Greek dictionary).
We are not to hurt people’s feelings through joking.
The Bible also says in Ephesians 5:1-7 “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.”
Right in the midst of a list of terrible sins in Ephesians 5:1-7, God deals with some sins of the tongue, and right in the midst of these sins of the tongue, God says that jesting (teasing, bullying, joking, picking on people, etc) is a sin. And then God says later that His wrath falls on people for these sins!
As Christians we are to love others, not tease them and hurt their feelings.
Some Christians have a wrong belief that people must be thick skinned, and that it is immature for a Christian to get their feelings hurt.
They get this by not understanding the proper definition of the word “offend” in Psalms 119:165 “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”
This verse does not mean that a strong Christian will not get their feelings hurt. The word offend in this verse means “cause to sin.” (see the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance with Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries #s 4383, and 3782 in the Hebrew dictionary).
This verse simply means that a strong, mature Christian will never turn away from God for any reason.
The truth is, it is not immature to get your feelings hurt, it is immature, and a sin, to tease and bully someone and hurt their feelings. Even a child knows this!
Our speech should always be wrapped in thankfulness to God, and the purpose of everything we say is to be to edify the person we are speaking too.
Even if we have to correct someone, who is doing wrong, our goal should never be to hurt their feelings, but to build them up by pointing them to a higher relationship with God.
Although when you correct someone, their feelings are usually hurt, because no one likes to be corrected.
The Bible says in Luke 17:3 “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.”
Sometimes this kind of speech is necessary, but our goal should still be to build them up to a higher relationship with God, not hurt their feelings.
As Ephesians 5:1-7 shows, God takes sins of the tongue very seriously, so we need to always think before we say anything.