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Not everyone is in favor of laughter. I was preaching at a revival in the state of Illinois. The church had seen better days. I  was asked to speak to the  children in their class at the beginning of the service. The room was filled with children. There was so much energy and excitement that when I left fifteen minutes later to make my way to sanctuary I was excepting a full house with lots of energy. When I opened the door and entered the sanctuary to my surprise there were about 10 adults in a sanctuary that seats over 300. To say the service was low energy would be an exaggeration. There was in fact the reverse of low energy, we were at an energy deficit. In a few moments it was time for me to stand up and preach. The 10 adults were huddled in the back. I felt like I was preaching form a block away. No response, no enthusiasm and finally I came to the conclusion of the message. I invited people to come forward to help us pray for revival, no one moved out. Finally, I evidently shamed about six of them to come forward. The pastor led us in prayer. I prayed with a couple of folks and then sat down on the front row as the pastor gave us some words of encouragement. Seated next to me on the front row was and elderly couple, the gentlemen motioned for me to come closer, giving me the idea that the had something to say. He said, “When you told that funny story at the end, I felt the Holy Spirit leave the service.” Not exactly knowing how to respond, I said nothing.  As I was preparing to leave the building I told the song evangelist what had happened and what the gentlemen had said. The song evangelist said the next time you see him tell him “the Holy Spirit left here long before we came to town.” Rest assured I never told the old gentlemen what my friend said. Yet after each service he told me he liked my sermons except that I should never mix humor in with God’s Word. I told Him that I loved God and His word, that I wasn’t trying to be funny, I am just sort of a funny person. For a reason known only to God, he called me into the ministry. I did tell the man if you only knew how many things that pop into my mind that I don’t say, I think you would be really proud of me.   Again, he did not think that was funny and turned and left me with out saying another word. Humor for humors sake is not the goal. The goal is always to communicate God’s Word in a way that is honoring to the Lord, and the text and the audience. Many times I have seen the Holy Spirit break down barriers through laughter. The Proverb says that a Merry heart does good like  medicine. It is unfortunate that in too many places Christianity has become associated with not only a lack of humor, but with a mean and harsh spirit. I know God is serious business, but must we not take ourselves so seriously. If you think this is not so, just read through the postings on Facebook, and you will see that everyone is an expert on every subject. So, if you disagree you are not only wrong you are stupid as well. Lighten up! We do no service to truth by making every subject, opinion and whim a substitute for truth. Truth can stand up by itself. Many of things that we have become obsessed with are opinions. I have opinions, I think reasonable people ought to come to the same conclusion as I have, yet in my better moments I understand that not only will not all agree with me, there is an outside chance I could be wrong. There is no wiggle room with the Gospel. The Word of God is forever settled. But my food and political choices are not based entirely on Scripture. So, today go ahead find something funny and laugh. If you can’t find anything funny to laugh about, just reflect over your life the last 24 hours and I am sure you will remember something you said and did that on reflection strikes you as humorous. If you cannot, then why not take a few days and let God be in charge, and you can lighten up just a little. It’s just a thought and my opinion and oh yes please don’t unfriend me because you disagree!  Remember you heart medicine today: laughter!

 

 

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