Monday, January 7, 2008

Living to Laugh

Reading through the book of Luke for my personal devotions, I came across a passage the other day that caught my eye. In Luke's slim-downed version of the beatitudes, Jesus says, "Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep" (Luke 6:25). A few verses earlier He had said, "Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh (v. 25).

Obviously, Jesus is not condemning anyone who ever laughs, nor is He discouraging any form of humor. But it got me to thinking: have we idolized humor, comedy, and laughter too much?

If we were to be honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that many of us live to laugh. Even in my own life, I am far too often looking to get a laugh out of people. Not that we should always be serious in life, but in this day and age of "Christian Comedians" and the like, it is apparent that we far too often make comedy and humor our god.

Don't get me wrong. I believe there is a place for levity, but probably not to the extant that we have taken it, especially in the West. How can we be constantly looking for a laugh when in places like Kenya and Darfur, they are just looking for a little peace of mind?

Some will say, I suppose, that humor is a good outlet from all the stresses in the world - like those very things that are taking place in these other countries - but using humor as an outlet is a little different than making humor our sole goal in life. Too many of us live more for the next episode of The Office, Jay Leno, or The Simpsons, than we do trying to alleviate people's suffering and pain.

Maybe God wants us to focus more on the needs of fellow humankind, rather than humoring ourselves to death.

I am speaking more to myself than anyone else.


mhb said...

You speak to us all. There is need for moderation in this area so that we can effectively deal with the serious issues of life and spirituality. An obsessive need for "the laugh" can put our perspective out of focus. Yet humor in a healthy manner does so much to keep us and our perspective positive and healthy.

mhb said...

By the way..long time no blog..hope you had a great holiday!

Shawn Brace said...

Thanks for the comment. You have said it nicely. And thank you for the holiday greetings!