You may not realize it but today is a very special day because we are celebrating the birth of our middle daughter. Sarah was born enough years ago that I remember feeling old when I was her age…sigh…time….is ridiculous.
While all three of our offspring are certainly no longer children, they remain forever young in our hearts and I still get tickled by their personalities and humor and just who they are and how they interact with each other and us.
The family texts that go around are usually full of good-natured ribbing and even when I am the punch line of their private jokes between them, I can laugh at myself through their eyes because I feel the heart under the ribbing.
But not all the time.
Sometimes in our teasing, we have taken it too far and touched a nerve…but the love is always stronger than the hurt and in time we can even look back on THOSE moments and laugh about it.
Humor, and the ability to laugh at our humanity and quirks, is healthy and eases the harder places on our journeys, but it is so important that the jest be tempered with grace and mercy and sensitivity.
A clever comedian can help put a new perspective on some of our human silliness; and in our mutual laughter, open our eyes to areas where we have begun to take ourselves too seriously.
However; it’s such a fine line between ‘laughing with’ and ‘laughing at’ and more and more I see such a mean spirit behind much of what we call humor.
Even in Christian circles, mean-spirited humor pokes fun simply for the sake of getting a laugh.
Have mercy, I do have a love for the funny stuff.
I love to laugh and I love to make people laugh and sometimes that love has gotten me into a place of using humor at the expense of someone dear to me.
Caught up in the moment, I forget that a quick wit can take over good sense and I do not heed the warning about the unruly nature of my mouth and my need to keep it surrendered to the wisdom and leading of the Holy Spirit.
I have been reading through Ecclesiastes this week and this morning I find words that speak to this…
“As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.” Ecclesiastes 10:1
That’s it, all nestled in a concise proverb.
That ick-factor I feel sometimes when humor has passed over into folly and dishonoring of others.
It is important, if we want to honor God and others with the power of our words and influence, to monitor our own attempts at humor, as well as our response to comments made around us.
I am quite certain God has a great sense of humor and I rather imagine Jesus had a twinkle in His eye and a ready ability to inject laughter into settings or He would probably not have been able to engage the likes of the diverse band of disciples on those long road trips through three years of ministry.
So, as in all things, let’s seek to honor God and to love our fellow man well…even as we enjoy some good belly laughs on the journey.
Let’s extend large margins of grace when our toes get stepped on and let’s be willing to excuse ourselves from joining in when those around us cross that line into the mocking and darker humor that does not edify others nor bring honor to the One who made them.
Be blessed today…if you encounter opportunities to giggle at life, I pray you know Jesus is chuckling right along with you, maybe even slapping His knee if it’s a really good one.
And if you are having a day that is not so fun or funny…well, then I pray you feel that same hand gently resting on your back as He draws you close <3