“To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven . . . A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”
When Scripture talks about laughter, it most often speaks of laughter as a form of derision. God is described as laughing at the pride and plans of the wicked. However, that does not mean that God is against the right kind of humor.
After all, He gave us the ability to laugh. In Ecclesiastes 3:4 we read that there is also a time to laugh. Jesus reminds the faithful, in the Beatitudes, that those who weep now will laugh with joy later. When you stop and think about it, anyone who can create the playful kitten cannot be against laughter.
Medical researchers are finding out just what a wonderful gift laughter is. Laughter, it has been found, is excellent exercise for the lungs. It clears the respiratory system and is emotionally healthy. Laughter relaxes muscles. It is a proven reliever of emotional tension. Research also suggests that laughter has healing effects, possibly boosting the immune system.
Laughter also has been found to have a natural pain-killing effect. In one experiment involving patients viewing funny films, the pain-killing effect of laughter lasted for up to two hours.
Laughter has also been identified among chimpanzees and apes. Very possibly, other creatures have their own way of laughing. If we remember that Scripture also encourages us to “avoid foolish talk,” we can also give thanks to God for the gift of humor.
I thank You, Father, that You are not a grim God who wants us to be somber and joyless. I also thank You for the humorous things You have made. Grant me good, healthy joy and humor in my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Peterson, K. 1996. “A chuckle a day does indeed help keep ills at bay.” USA Today, Oct. 31. p. 10D.