Let My Laughter Resound!
BECOMING A ‘LAUGHING’ AND A ‘LAUGHABLE’ PERSON!
The following (short accounts) – episodes that happened to me – all evoked ‘laughter’ within me. But, few of these happenings evoked ‘laughter’ at the time of the ‘happening’. In fact, it was only in retrospect (looking back) that most of these experiences brought a ‘smile’ or an outright ‘laugh’ to me. What now brings me a ‘laugh’, at the time brought me embarrassment or even physical discomfort.
Many times the ‘things’ (events) that happen to us are rather ‘strange’ (‘weird’), and we tend to ‘shake our head’ in disbelief that something like what we are experiencing, could ever happen to us!
At least we can say (if we wish to) that the ‘strange’ or ’embarrassing’ things that happen to us, keep life from becoming ‘boring’.
These out-of-the-ordinary and unexpected events or happenings, make us realize that ‘anything can happen to us’. When we look ‘silly’ or when we say ‘silly things’, the result is sometimes our humiliation. When we find ourselves in an embarrassing situation, we discover that we have a more realistic view of ourselves.
ln other words, we realize that we are not always the dignified (‘put together’) person that we would like to think that we are! When we do things or when we say things that are not the ‘mark of maturity’, we probably will have to sacrifice some of our ‘pride’, and replace that ‘pride’ (sense of ‘self-sufficiency) with greater humility.
If we ever were in any doubt that we were a member of the ‘common lot’ of humanity, when we ‘mess up’ and when we ‘blunder’ with our mouth, we are further convinced that we, indeed, are a fallible human being, similar to every other human being. As ‘smart’ as we are, and as ‘experienced’ as we are, we still can make embarrassing ‘mistakes’ and ‘blunders’ – mistakes and blunders which bring a ‘smile’ to the face of our friends, and should bring a ‘laugh’ to ourselves.
We learn, because of the embarrassing mistakes that we make (or because of the ‘laughable’ situations we get ourselves into), not to take ourselves so seriously. One of the most ‘health-giving’ things that we can do for ourselves is to ‘stand back’ (after our involvement in a ‘funny’ or an ’embarrassing’ situation) and ‘look at ourselves’ and then open our mouth and ‘laugh’ and ‘laugh’ and ‘laugh’!
It is a ‘health-giving’ action (based on a realistic and humble estimate of ourselves) to acknowledge our own foibles and faults and oddities and weaknesses and laughable actions!
It takes a mature and a humble and an objective person, if there is to be a realistic view of one’s own self. There are few things that are more ‘refreshing’ than for a person to see his own ‘oddities’ from the viewpoint of his friends, who (without any spirit of sneering) have seen the ‘funny things’ about him, for a long time.
To laugh at yourself, and to allow (without over-sensitivity) others to laugh at the ‘funny side’ of your personality – this requires that you have a spirit of humility.
To laugh at yourself and to let others laugh with you about your foibles, this is possible only if you are delivered from the ‘bondage of self-preoccupation’ and the ‘bondage of over-sensitivity’. To be ‘dead’ to your self-centeredness and to your selfish pride, is to be ‘free’ in Christ and is to be ‘free’ to love and to serve others without self-consciousness.
Also, it is to be ‘free’ to laugh at yourself (with no unhealthy feelings of self-depreciation)! You can stand tall with wholesome dignity, and, at the same time, not take yourself too seriously! Delivered from over-sensitivity and self-preoccupation, you are thereby ‘free’ to allow others to have a ‘good laugh’ regarding some of your own ‘strange ways’ (your personal oddities and your humorous foibles)!
You are, indeed, ‘free’ to laugh at yourself (to laugh at your own ‘weaknesses’ and your own ‘strange ways’), and you are also ‘free’ to encourage others to laugh along with you! Such a lifestyle (a relaxed lifestyle regarding yourself) is part of what Jesus described as the ‘abundant lifestyle’!
As humans, our greatest burden that we bear is the ‘burden of self-centeredness’ (over-sensitivity and a defensive reaction to other people)! When we are delivered from this burden (through our ‘death’ to our ‘carnal self’), we are truly ‘free’ to be at our ‘very best’!
Free to live at peace with our own self, free to live at peace with our God, and free to live at peace with other persons around us. We are, thus, not defensive but open to other persons, we are not overly sensitive to the intended (or unintended) ‘less-than-charitable’ remarks that people make to us or about us, we are not competitive with other persons because the humility of God has seized us (thus, we are learning humbly to ‘esteem others better than we esteem our own self’).
When we are ‘crucified’ to our own ‘carnal self’ (self-centeredness), we experience the ‘freedom’ to ‘forget’ about our own self! Instead, we concentrate on the needs of other persons.
We become gloriously ‘lost’ in the ‘wonder’ of other persons (their ‘stories’, their needs, their ‘hurts’, their potential, their unique contributions that they are making to society, their unique abilities and talents and spiritual gifting, their God-given personality, their special ‘call’ from God, their accomplishments in life).
Of course, because every person is a member of a ‘fallen race’ (with all the involvement in sinning that this ‘membership’ entails), Christian’s ‘dealing’ with people can be most frustrating and troublesome, as well as most rewarding and satisfying and enjoyable. Christians must embrace both kinds of persons (the saints and the sinners).
The abundant life of which Jesus spoke is the life in which a believer (as Jesus emphasized) ‘gives himself away’ to help meet the needs of other people. Jesus said that the one who ‘loses his life’ in serving others, is the one who truly finds himself (that is, he is the one who finds fulfillment in living). In contrast, the one who is a ‘self-seeker’ (that is, the one who ‘uses’ other persons to ‘advance his own selfish agenda’) loses his life – that is, his life has no purpose and no lasting duration. Such a self-seeking (selfish) person will become frustrated, and his life will become meaningless. Such a person fails to realize the purpose for which he is created – namely, to serve his fellow men and to bring honor to his Creator!
Such a humble (self-effacing) person knows that he is only a ‘Christian-in-the-making’, and that he is a long way from the ‘final perfection’ to which Christ has called him. In other words, such a humble (God-centered) person knows that, at best, he still has a lot of ‘rough edges’ in his life that he must work on to remove! He acknowledges that he has lot of oddities and mistakes and blunders and even ‘laughable’ things to eliminate from his life. He knows that, till the day of his death, he will still be only a ‘Christian under construction’.
He humbly realizes that, unbeknown to him, he will (ignorantly) do things and he will say things that are innocently done and innocently said, but that, nevertheless, are faults for which he will need the forgiveness from his fellow men.
The sincere believer knows that, amidst the faults that he will commit (for which he will need forgiveness), there will probably be things said and there will probably be things done that will (to the objective observer) evoke a ‘smile’ or evoke even an outright ‘laugh’.
Faults, innocently committed, will need, not only God’s gracious forgiveness, but will need also the patience and the understanding of his fellow men (who will likely be annoyed by some of his actions). “Confess your faults (and sins) to one another, that you may be healed!” (James 5) Marriage provides a ‘good platform’ for couples to practice confession of their faults, one to another. Growth in marriage is always growth in humility – and good humor!
People (particularly your friends) who are evoked to ‘laughter’ (by your oddities and by your foibles) have no desire to show you derision. Therefore, if you are the person who evokes laughter in your friends, you should gladly learn to laugh at yourself (because of your own foibles and oddities and mistakes)!
You should allow (without over-sensitivity) your friends (good-heartedly and openly) to laugh along with you! Because you have learned (by God’s grace) not to take yourself too seriously, you are able to combine your laughter with the laughter of your friends (even if you are the ‘object of laughter’).
Because of your own light-heartedness (and your own willingness to laugh at your own foibles, along with your friends), you have, thereby, given a much-needed ‘gift’ to your friends – the ‘gift of laughter’!
Again, let it be noted: If you can laugh at yourself, and if you allow others (friends) to laugh regarding your own foibles and mistakes and oddities, then you are well on your way to becoming a happy and a healthy person – a person who is humble and a person who is free from self-consciousness and free from over-sensitivity.
Laughter is a ‘gift from heaven’, a unique mark of being made in the ‘image of God’, a health-giving activity of the human race! There are some accounts of physically or mentally ill persons who have regained their health, through the ‘instrumentality’ of ‘hearty laughter’.
A little laughter each day will keep the ‘doldrums’ away! ‘Hearty laughter’ is one of the manifestations of ‘true freedom’. Learning to laugh at ourselves, and learning to laugh at the ‘odd events’ around us (i,e., the events where no one is harmed) helps us to ‘keep our humanity’, helps us to keep a sane, humble view of ourselves.
I have noticed that the somber, overly-sensitive, defensive-oriented, arrogant persons seldom laugh! If they do laugh, it is laughter that is centered on the ‘gross’ and the ‘unclean’ subjects of the ‘fleshly’ world.
It is the pure of heart (the persons who truly love God and who sincerely love their fellow men) who have the ‘most fun’ in life! They are the ones who know how to hold their head back and who know how to open their mouth wide and who know how to release hearty sounds of laughter from their lips! “God has given His children all things richly to enjoy” – and among those many things to enjoy is ‘Laughter’!
“Biblical Foundation For The Sanctity Of Human Life!”