I was reading an article today in Christianity Today (the online version). The article is entitled, "A Little Office Humor Goes a Long Way." It speaks about how laughter is a gift from God, even though the Bible never explicitly says that Jesus laughed.
I for one, think that the mere fact that Jesus was a full human being means that, of course he laughed!
I think I've mentioned before that wherever I go, people tend to comment on my sense of humor, or my laugh, or the "impish michievousness right under my surface." The word, "impish" has actually been used multiple times to describe me. In a good way.
Anyway, I have been thinking about how laughter and a sense of humor is a spiritual gift. Sometimes I feel like I don't have enough "spiritual gifts," and I sell my sense of humor short. After all, what good does laughing REALLY do?
I think it does a world of good! When I am having a bad day or am feeling sad, a good laugh seems to reset me. Galatians 5:22-23 says, "By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control" (emphasis mine). Laughter can be a good signature that one is joyful. And to go hand in hand with this verse, I think that a sense of humor can show these other fruits of the Spirit. When a friend can make me laugh, that shows kindness to me. I feel like I have received a gift from their generosity of being able to use their wit and charm to make me laugh. Also, I am far more apt to laugh at something said by someone I like or love than I am to laugh through jokes or some random person's comments. And I feel at peace when I am laughing. I forget the stresses and tribulations of life, if only for a few minutes.
So, that being said, I think I am really beginning to believe that my sense of humor is indeed a good and "valid" spiritual gift. It is a hope of mine that my sense of humor and my laughter blesses the lives of others in some way. In reflecting on this, I remember a time last semester, I think, when we were sitting in class and it was getting too intense or we were all getting really bored or something (I don't remember the specifics of the situation), and I made some silly comment and the whole class started laughing. I was slightly afraid it was timed improperly, but later, friends said that we needed that right then.
Laughter is a good thing. Frederick Buechner once said that there is "laughter of faith." What I think he was talking about is that even in the midst of the "stuff" of life, we can laugh because of the hope we have in Jesus. We can trust in faith that the promises of God in Christ are not willy-nilly, but are firmly bonded in the steadfast character of God, the awesome one.
Be blessed, my friends. And laugh. See you.