FLASHBACK FAVORITE! Here is one of our favorite posts from the past. Enjoy! (This post was originally published on 4/19/16).
Lean in close. I don’t want you to miss something profound God has been whispering to me in every facet of my life…Are you ready for this super deep revelation? Here it is: “Lighten. Up.”
The more life tries to get serious on me, the more I’m learning that humor is one of God’s most under-rated gifts. Living life as a Jesus follower brings all kinds of characteristics to mind: patient, compassionate, courageous, strong, humble, and boring. (Kidding! See what I did there?) But let’s add another to the mix: funny.
Funny is a gateway to so many good things. When we don’t take life as serious as a heart attack, we can more easily hand out grace; and when we mess up and can laugh at ourselves, pride gets kicked where it counts.
This whole funny business thing is a total game changer. It gives us a better outlook on life and boosts our well-being. Even Proverbs 17:22 says: “A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.” (Drop mic.)
A couple months ago our daughter had her first genuine, I’m-a-real-person, look-at-how-stinkin’-adorable I am, smile. That first smile is huge, isn’t it? (Dads especially all over the world just gave a big “Amen!”) From that smile on, we’ll do anything short of joining the circus to recreate it. We make ridiculous faces and noises, all to connect through a simple giggle. That beautiful, I-gotta-have-more-of-you-right-now feeling we get when we share a smile is no accident. God put that there for us to soak up. He made us to smile. And I think he wants us to smile more than we do most days.
Jesus had a first smile too, you know. And can you even imagine how wickedly funny He must have been? He was probably a master at balancing teaching and miracles with wit and playful banter with the 12. And come on, you can’t have dinner with a bunch of “tax collectors and disreputable sinners” (as mentioned in Mark 2:15) and leave with them still liking you, unless you have a sense of humor. Let’s not downplay humor’s power to draw us closer to each other.
We are made to be deeply connected to one another, and humor says “I get you” in a way nothing else can.
In friendships, we should be reminding each other that life doesn’t suck. That the hard stuff will transform into something better because we have Jesus. And that in the midst of pain we can maybe even smile together. Hallelujah for friends with the same flavor of humor and who even know when to insert an inappropriate joke. It’s a beautiful thing.
In marriage, we should remember that every good love story includes laughter. When you think of your favorite memories from when you first started dating your Mr., don’t they include smiles? Let’s get back to that place. Less nagging, more smiling. Laughter should not be something we reserve for our friends when we “finally get a night out.” Let’s do what we need to do to make room for laughs with our guys.
Parenting provides a smorgasbord of comical events and I don’t trust anyone who says otherwise. The more we can learn to stop white knuckling our days as if we have control over every detail, the more we can find the funny. Then in waltzes more patience for our kids. More peace in our home. More grace to be passed around and self-served.
I’m not suggesting we all need to be super punny or turn into Tina Fey overnight. But I do think we can be a little nicer to ourselves and others if we lighten up and enjoy this life God has given us. So as we keep pounding the pavement to be better friends, wives, moms, or whatevers, let’s give ourselves permission to laugh. Please, I beg you: Free your happy and let your funny flag fly.