Christians were never meant to be dour, unhappy persons who constantly have a deeply concerned look on their faces. We were never meant to be a people who take ourselves too seriously. I am not sure what does that to people, but it is not Jesus. Jesus does not turn people into joyless, anxiety ridden human beings.
Laughter, like tears, can make a person vulnerable. When we laugh, we reveal something about ourselves. Perhaps that is why we enjoy sitting at the dinner table and telling old family stories that still bring out our laughter. Laughter has a way of pulling us together.
Why not take advantage of opportunities that bring a smile to your face and even a good laugh?
- Laugh at yourself. Think about the last thing you did that was just silly. If your silly moment is in public view, why make it even more awkward by becoming self-conscious and overly serious about yourself? Learn to laugh at the silly, funny things you do. If you are like so many of us, you will have plenty of opportunities to laugh.
- Watch small children. Children can be so funny. At church yesterday, I saw a little girl carrying a very full bag. I asked her what was in the bag. She didn’t answer. She just opened the bag. It was full of toys. I saw a sponge with two big holes all the way through it. I put the sponge in front of my eyes and looked through the holes at her. She giggled and I laughed. Children are great sources for laughter.
- Watch and listen to what brings laughter. I have laughed through hours of Home Improvement, old Marx Brothers films, Andy Griffin, etc. In high school, I can remember watching skits on the Carol Burnett Show with Tim Conway and enjoying the laughter. I used to listen to Prairie Home Companion and laugh at Garrison Keillor’s monologues.
When we lived in Kansas City, we ate dinner in the home of a young family one evening. I noticed there were comic strip clippings from the newspaper taped all over the refrigerator. This young wife and mother read the comics each day and clipped the best ones. She believed it was important to enjoy the funny moments in life.
Caution: As you might expect, the evil one has been at work in this area of our lives as well. He has a way of perverting laughter so that we are laughing at inappropriate moments. Beware of laughing at what is twisted, obscene, or abusive. Beware of laughing at the sinful and even sick behavior of other people. Beware of laughter that comes at the expense of another human being. God given laughter was never meant to be an instrument to humiliate another person.