Choose Joy

It’s no secret that I love to laugh. Laughter filled my childhood home, and I hope my children remember their early years as cheerful. I am convinced the Lord has a great sense of humor and that He wants His people to laugh loudly and often. So our study about the constructive use of the mouth concludes on that light note.

  1. A good sense of humor

A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,
But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.
All the days of the afflicted are bad,
But a cheerful heart has a continual feast. (Proverbs 15:13, 15)

By a sense of humor, please understand that I am not referring to inane, foolish talk or distasteful, ill-timed jesting. By humor, I mean carefully chosen, well-timed expressions of wit and amusing, fun-loving statements. I am convinced of the value of wholesome humor. In fact, I believe that a person without a sense of humor will not be as capable a leader or as effective a communicator as he or she could be.

There are special times when a sense of humor is needed, such as in lengthy, tense, and heated meetings, or when a serious atmosphere has settled in the home, or even after extremely difficult experiences. How quickly and how easily we forget to laugh! Yet medical studies have proven the health benefits of laughter. Look at the last phrase of the final passage I quoted above. The Hebrew text literally says that the cheerful heart “causes good healing.”

How do you measure up, my friend? Honestly now, have you become so serious you can no longer enjoy yourself or others? Let’s face it, if there is one, general criticism we Christians must accept without argument, it is that we have become altogether too serious about everything in life. We exclude or ignore almost every opportunity for a good, healthy laugh! We’re uptight, far too intense, and much too critical of ourselves and others. As a result, our tolerance and understanding are extremely limited. May God loosen us up! And may He ultimately enable us to live beyond the grind of an uncontrolled tongue.

From Living the Proverbs by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired., an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Christmas items