When I was in seminary, someone circulated a pen-and-ink drawing of what was purported to be Jesus walking down a road with this arms around the shoulders of two friends, and his head thrown back in a laugh that obviously came from deep within. The administration was furious, rounding up as many copies of the drawing as they could get their hands on because they viewed it as sacrilegious. The whole time they were losing ground because the rendering was so popular that more and more copies were showing up all over the campus. Most of the students, well, at least the aspiring youth ministers, were confused about the hoopla over the possibility that Jesus actually laughed. Did the administration and students of evangelism think that He didn’t have time to laugh? Or was it that doing His Father’s work was so serious that a good laugh was unacceptable at any time during his life?
The old adage carries a certain accuracy: “If you don’t think God has a sense of humor, just look around you!” Go to a mall & do some “People Watching,” (get a soft drink, find an empty bench in the mall & watch as people go by), or look at the people around you in worship, or look in the mirror — do you think God doesn’t have a sense of humor!??
I have to admit that it seems there are too many times when “good Christians” fail to see that the humor in some church situations are occasions that would be fodder for a hilarious T.V. sit com When being a good Christian rules out having a sense of humor, I think we’re cheating ourselves of one of God’s most potent weapons against the influence of Satan. One of the things I’ve appreciated about my friend and former pastor, Dr. John Goodwin, was that he enjoyed laughing at a silly situation or a well placed joke. Sometimes it seems that we believe that Christian doctrine adamantly states that the word “fun” was not in Jesus’ vocabulary.
The people who are God’s Church, need to develop the great habit of laughing when the situation appropriately calls for that response. Jokes don’t need to be cruel in the fellowship. People aren’t to be laughed at as much as they’re laughed with. The best jokes are when we are able to laugh at ourselves, recognizing the humor in a misspoken word or a bumbling moment, and enjoying the fun of the situation along with everyone else. What a testament to the confidence of who we are! What a witness to the community of unchurched and unsaved around us.
. . . ease the stress of a confrontation.
. . . change our attitude about an unpleasant task in serving God.
. . . keep a friendship from deteriorating.
. . . remind us of our shortcomings, as individuals and as a body of believers.
. . . celebrate the worship of God
. . . enhance church harmony.
Be encouraged to carry on the work of Christ, and do it with the loving hilarity that is a celebration of the Spirit of God. Try it this Sunday morning as you sit in Bible Study, or the worship service. Boy, does God have a weird sense of humor, or what!?
Even dealing with the very serious businesses of serving God or resolving conflicts in the church body can be boosted by appropriate humor. Give me a call at 225-773-8883 and let’s talk about how you, the church staff &/or the church as a whole can work to create harmony and unity.