Finding Laughter: Laughter Is Part Of My Worldview (Day 29)
“From somber, serious sullen saints, save us, O Lord.” ~ TERESA OF AVILA
I didn’t know of these expectations growing up. I didn’t grow up in a Christian home. Although for many of my younger years I was bussed to Sunday school. The Christians I met there, my teachers, were anything but a sourpuss.
They kept an orderly classroom (after all this was in the 60’s when all children minded authority figures because if you didn’t you got into BIG trouble at home). But the consistent attitude of these teachers was one of kindness. I don’t remember what they taught, but I remember how I felt (and why I wanted to keep going back).
I felt love from others and God. My teachers and mom modeled love, kindness, and fun. Laughter was part of my worldview then and it is now.
And for most of my Christian life (41 years now) I have been surrounded by folks (from the pulpit to the “regular” people) who are anything but a sourpuss. So when someone tells me their experience is to the contrary, I am always a little surprised and sad for them.
But while I am not a sourpuss, I am not light-hearted. I have to keep reminding myself to go back to the basics – to be a joy-filled Christian is to remember my why.
We can have a foundation of joy when we keep remembering what Jesus did.
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have perfect peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous, be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy; I have overcome the world.” My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.” John 16:33 (AMP)
Marilyn Meberg says this verse “assures me that because of Jesus, the Overcomer, I too can be an overcomer in all of my trials and sorrows simply because He lives in me. As a result, I have access to His victory and His power over my circumstances. . . . Our cheerfulness rests on our Savior-relatedness. The divine transaction of accepting Christ’s death on the cross not only assures us a place in heaven but also a cheerful heart on earth.” (Quote some from her book, I’d Rather be Laughing.)
By remembering my why I can have a cheerful heart on earth!
Remembering impacts our laughter. Laughter impacts our length of days. Proverbs 14:30 says, “A relaxed attitude lengthens a man’s life.” (TLB) An insurance company statistic relates that people who laugh live on average 8 years longer.(Stat from Laughology movie.)
“Then our mouth was filled with laughter And our tongue with joyful shouting; Then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” ~ Psalm 126:2
- Providing His ongoing Presence in our lives
- With His Presence comes guidance and empowerment to follow His wise & good way in (all the) areas of our life
- Financial, relational, emotional to name a few
- Remember there is more to this life than this life. Heaven is coming and it will be perfect
This does not mean life HERE is perfect and free from struggles, or trauma even. The Bible clearly says there is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance,” (Ecclesiastes 3:4).
But through knowing our why and purposefully thinking on and talking about the great things of God, we can keep our balance during these traumatic times and the lesser but equally draining, daily, irritants of life. Sometimes though, this is HARD to do. Sometimes it takes time to get our balance. And sometimes we need the help of others to get and maintain that balance.
And there is one last thing we need to do. Besides keeping our minds fixed on God and His gifts to us, we need to have right actions. Why?
When our actions do not match up with our deeply held beliefs, we WILL experience guilt, depression, alienation and isolation from God and others.
Some of these right actions consist of . . .
- Staying away from known sin (gossip, anger, lust, greed, wasting time, etc)
- Keeping our word to family commitments (consistently honoring each other in a selfless, kind manner)
- Providing a full day of work each day we are at work (stay off cell and personal computer usage during company time, maintain a pleasant and servant-attitude)
- Choosing free-time activities that strengthen us and our world (it is healthy to have solo interests. It is not healthy when these solo interests negatively impact those in our world)
- Living in a manner of forgiveness (asking for it and extending it)
In short, live a life of integrity. And I am not talking about perfect actions, just progress towards the perfect and a having a loving, humble attitude,
Jesus can be our foundation. Cheerfulness can be our habit. Laughter can be a frequent guest in our mouth.
Your Turn . . . Have you had a lot of experiences with sourpuss Christians? If yes, how has that impacted your laughter? . . . . . What can you do today to make cheerfulness a more entrenched habit?
Related Posts From This Series . . .
- If You Can Joke, You Can Cope
- Interview of a Funny Person
- Is Laughter Needed at Work?
- Suggestions From Readers
- The Habit of Cheerfulness
I am joining 100’s of others at #write31days to write every day in October on a single topic. My topic is 31 Days of Finding Laughter. I will spend time each day studying laughter to see if I can improve my laughter quotient.
Go here for the landing page which has all the posts in one spot.
Read, learn, and discover with me what this world of laughter is all about and is it all that it’s cracked up to be. And be sure to leave a comment. Talking together will make for a richer, interactive experience for all of us.