The Theology of Laughter

by | Mar 5, 2016

God is holy. God is also hilarious. One look at a duck-billed platypus proves this. They were not constructed from left-over animal parts but by a God who has a sense of humor. God having a donkey speak to a wayward prophet is another example a divine hilarity. The best part was that the prophet started to argue back with his donkey! Comical!

Proverbs 15:13 says, “He who sits in the heavens laughs.” So should we. Laughter is not only physically healthy but emotionally cleansing as well. A good laugh helps a heavy heart. Our days are filled with too many depressing details that weigh down our soul. That’s why I only watch just enough news to be informed but not too much to be depressed. Levity bring balance to our jacked-up world.

Show me a home where laughter is limited or non-existent and I’ll show you an unhealthy home. I’m so glad I grew up in a family where laughter was commonplace. My dad had a dry sense of humor who encouraged his children often with this phrase, “If you’ve gotta a good line, say it!” I still remember him writing a reminder note with a pen onto his open palm. He looked up at me with a smile and said, “It’s the original palm pilot!” My family was large (seven children), loud, and consistently filled with lots of laughter. Wouldn’t trade it for the world.

My daughters have grown up in the same kind of home. Along with discipline and boundaries, Candy and I have created an environment of healthy teasing, pranks, with lots of giggles and laughter. What parent doesn’t love the sound of their children laughing together? From one liners, lip sync battles, making mash up video clips, and silly camera poses, laughter has been a regular companion in our home. In fact, each of our girls desires to marry a man with a sense of humor as part of the many things they are looking for. Not a coincidence.

Also, show me a church where laughter is limited or non-existent and I’ll show you an unhealthy church. Yes, there is a time for being solemn and sober-minded. There is a time and place for church discipline, teaching on hell, and a stern call for repentance. Our church has done each of these recently. With sincerity and tears. But GracePoint Church also has a DNA of laughter, which I love and encourage. Our hosts used humor in our time of welcome and humor is sprinkled in most of my messages. Too many churches have lots of truth with little joy. We need both.

It seems like our world is getting darker and more wicked by the moment. Therefore we must continue to preach the gospel and repentance for the day of judgment is drawing near. But we must also model the joy.

GracePoint has recently added something else into our church culture: Springtime Comedy Tours. Last year we brought in comedian John Branyan and next week we are hosting the very popular Tim Hawkins. Close to 1700 tickets have already been sold to accomplish several of our goals: 1. Laugh our heads off for two hours. 2. Buy tickets for friends who don’t normally come to church. It’s a creative way to get unchurched people inside a church. It’s also an opportunity to demonstrate to our next generation that clean comedy is way better than the junk that’s out there today.

God is a creative God with a sense of humor. We are made in His image and He designed us to laugh. If you don’t believe this, then do a simple test. Find a video where a baby cannot stop giggling and laughing. Then watch your face muscles being compelled to form a smile. It’s almost impossible to keep from smiling or laughing yourself. Why? God made us to laugh.

“I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices.” Psalm 16:8-9

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