“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”Proverbs 17:22
Humorous words can be life-giving. Yet many Christians think laughter has no place in the daily worship of God. Some have reminded me that the Bible records “Jesus wept,” not “Jesus laughed.” Indeed, He mourned greatly over sin, over death, and over people believing in their own self-sufficiency. But at times He also used words that were witty. God fashioned all of language for our use and enjoyment, and to shed His grace on our world.
Sometimes it has been the laughter of a word aptly spoken that diffuses anger in an argument, brings a bit of cheer at a funeral service, or helps a friend in the cancer ward face the next treatment.
“Humor doesn’t deny tears; rather it affirms something far deeper than tears” (Elton Trueblood, The Humor of Christ, 1964). The Christian can enjoy laughter, not because he doesn’t understand sin and suffering, but because he knows these are not the ultimate. The purpose of the Gospel, even in its humor, is Christ’s forever purpose for us: redemption.
Let the words of our mouths—words of humor as well as solemnity— bring him praise.