LIGHTEN UP

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)

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The importance of a good laugh can’t be overstated. For me I love it when people are laughing even if it is at my own expense sometimes. For instance, this morning I asked Tracey “Does this shirt make my hair look gray?” Of course she didn’t want to hurt my feelings so she said, “No, your gray hair makes your gray hair look gray!” Can you imagine that?

There have been times when I make jokes and it may not be appropriate, but for the most part I want to laugh and make others laugh. I think there are so many things in life that are serious it’s good to lighten up every now and then.

I tend to think Jesus would love a good joke every so often. In fact I believe if you read the Gospels and not find some things funny you’re reading it wrong. Jesus cleared out the Temple with a whip and the religious leaders didn’t think it was funny at all but rather confronted Jesus about his authority to do such a thing. The chief priests and the scribes with the elders confronted him, and they spoke, saying to him, “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things, or who is the one who gave you this authority?” Jesus answered and said to them, “I will also ask you a question, and you tell me: Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?” They reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘from heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men,” all the people will stone us to death; for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” So they answered that they did not know where it came from. And Jesus said to them, “Nor will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” (Luke 20:2-8) Now that’s funny! It’s moments like these that make me laugh because these men, not unlike us sometimes, thought they could outwit God with their riddles. Jesus craftily outsmarted them and beat them at their own game.

There was a time when Tracey said to me, sort of saddened, after reading the Bible “Jesus is kind of a smart elic.” This may have been the scripture she was reading. I told her “Well, if there was anyone who did have the right to be a smart elic I guess it would be Jesus.” Now of course we know the truth don’t we? Jesus was hounded by the religious leaders of his day because to them he seemed to be breaking all the rules. Jesus knew he wasn’t breaking God’s rules but mans. On a few occasions he seemed to have a little fun with them to make his point. Once he told them “You nullify the word of God for the sake of your traditions.” Maybe the traditions of men is what makes some so sour.

I read once in fact that Jesus was the first to introduce real joy to “religious” life. He said, “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.” (Matthew 6:16) Jesus is telling us we are allowed to have fun and a good time in serving God. We don’t have to walk around gloomy or solemn all the time. Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)  Jesus once ended a lesson for his disciples by saying, “These things I have spoken to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” (John 15:11)

Relax and enjoy life a little in Jesus name. Amen!

Written by Louie


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