I have a theory. I do not know this to be true, but I have this feeling that the Pharisees and the Sadducees who gave Jesus so much trouble when He walked the earth did not laugh very much. They seem constantly to be burdened with their responsibility, and consistently judgmental and cranky. By contrast, however, Jesus took joy in children, loved a good party and looked for reasons to be with people of all walks of life. I can picture Him smiling and laughing and being the kind of person whom other people wanted to be with.
Over my years of ministry, I have come to realize that I need to be cautious around people who do not laugh or who rarely smile. Of course, there are times when we need to be serious, but let’s face it, JOY is one of the aspects of the fruit of the Spirit. So how about it? When was the last time you had a real good laugh? God gave us the gift of laughter to enhance and bless our lives – let’s not neglect it.
Here are some pointers:
- Realize that laughter and fun are part of God’s equation for your life.
All through the Scriptures, we see God’s people at festivals, singing and rejoicing. Simply put, they were having fun. So let’s not think that we can do without this element of joyfulness in our own experience.
- Build appropriate fun into your life.
Notice I say “appropriate fun.” I cringe sometimes at what I see on TV with a laugh track broadcast underneath. We who care about righteousness ought not to allow ourselves to laugh at immorality, foul language or disparaging talk about others. But that having been said, there are plenty of wholesome sources of laughter and enjoyment out there.
- Build rest into your life.
A positive, joy-filled life is a life that is in balance. Those who do not build Sabbath rest into their lives will find that the joy reserves run low very fast.
- Spend time with funny people.
You can love Jesus and still have a sense of humor. Find people who have both sides of this equation down and give yourself permission to spend time encouraging one another through enjoyment and fun.
There are many markers for a healthy, vibrant life for a Christ follower. One of them is the ability to find delight in the life that God has given you. So if your joy level is a bit low, go ahead and build these ideas into your life - it will be very good for your soul!
Pastor Marc :)