Joy and Laughter at No One’s Expense

Dan Sullivan   -  

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.
Ephesians 5:1–2,4 ESV Read More

It’s funny how everyone has their own version of funny. For a long time, it was funny to see The Three Stooges or Lucille Ball fall down, break things, hit people with boards, etc. For several years a comedian could just get up on a stage and make faces and cuss and say the lewdest and offensive things and people would pay money and laugh and laugh. More recently, innuendo and subtlety have come to the forefront and only eyebrows and a laugh track let you know that somebody said something and you need to put the pieces together and be a little warped to know what the joke was.
I bring all of that up because there are so many un-laughing, joyless prudes that I picture in my head when I read this verse. It is so easy to turn a guide for love into a law! So here is the deal:
When you Laugh, Do It In Love
There is joy and comedy and side-splitting laughs in the Kingdom of heaven! Everyone has a different sense of humor, though. As we consider others better than ourselves, let us not police one another, but police ourselves on what kinds of things we joke about and do. The current wave of sex scandals being exposed is showing that it turns out flirty humor isn’t that funny to the recipients. What was once culturally acceptable (though still wrong) is becoming less and less acceptable to the masses.
Imagine if, on the other hand, instead of making jokes to unite us and bring us together, we gave thanks for one another. One true purpose of jokes, kidding, tall tales, etc. is to join people together. We can all laugh together at the funny thing on TV last night or when I tell you about the 3 crocodile hunters that walk into a bar. Even better though, is to truly love one another and talk about deeper richer things. We might not laugh as much, but we’ll end up happier.
Instead of filthiness and foolish talk, what if we told strangers about things that we are thankful for? What if we ran into one another on the street and broke out into thanksgiving for the memories we have with the person we haven’t seen in 12 years?
It would be a revolution!
What kind of awesome, fragrant lifestyle would it be to be that guy that always brought up the best memories ever when you ran into him on the street? Or that lady that always had a compliment or an encouraging word from her Bible study that day?
I’m sure Jesus and the disciples laughed their heads off when somebody fell out of the boat or did something silly. (You can’t be a fisherman and NOT have a sense of humor!) But however the case, their laughter and joy were deeper than what you get from useless talk. It brought life to them and there was enough joy and happiness to share with others.
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