August 12

What a laugh!

If you want to get your reader to pay attention to a comment you’ve written, to remember your point, try humor. It’s often the only way you can get anyone to take you seriously.

“Ah,” but you say, “I’m no comedian; I’m at a loss when it comes to making a witty comment.” The cure for that, my friend, is to learn to laugh at yourself. I love to use self-deprecating humor in my writing, because I never run out of material!

Perhaps you think that, as a Christian, life is too serious for levity. Are your shorts too tight? Lighten up, for crying out loud. Some of the best humor, especially self-deprecating humor, is a healthy response to pain, frustration, and humiliation—all very serious stuff. And it’s too serious not to see the irony in the situation.

Do you know what I did when I realized my sinfulness and need for Christ in my life? Once I surrendered myself to Christ and received His forgiveness, I laughed! (The people I was praying with thought I was a little kooky, I think.) I laughed because I realized what a silly fool I had been, hopelessly trying to make myself “good enough” for God, when all the time He just wanted me to give up and accept His gift of salvation, by faith. Is salvation by faith a serious business? You bet it is—too serious not to laugh at our own attempts to be accepted by God any other way.

In Psalm 2, the rulers of the world speak of overthrowing God’s authority and choosing their own way. Serious stuff, right? How does God respond? “He who sits in the heavens laughs” (Psalm 2:4). Somehow how I don’t think they’ve got God very worried. And that’s the point! Get the joke? Stop that grinning—this is serious, remember?

Humor can be used to deflect opposition, as well. During a presidential campaign debate, Ronald Reagan was asked, as the oldest President in history, if his age affected his ability to perform in the office. His response? “I will not make age a factor in this campaign. I will not exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” The audience burst into hysterics. Even his opponent, Walter Mondale, standing at the other podium on the stage, could not help laughing. And the question of Reagan’s age was barely mentioned throughout the rest of the campaign.

If you still think you may need a funny bone transplant, read some of the great authors of humor from the present and the past. That may help jump-start your humor machine.

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Posted August 12, 2017 by Dave Fessenden in category "Uncategorized

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