Friday, October 26, 2007


I wonder why the Bible doesn't have more to say on humor than it does. Most of us love some kind of humor. Of course humor reflects the heart, so that can be a little scary at times, yes with myself in my craziness, and particularly so in the world when we run into the off-color stuff. Oh, by the way, two of my links are largely on the humor side: Martin Stickland and Lorenzo the Llama. For some good laughs, check them out.

I've heard that Jesus employed humor; it must be a sophisticated kind that's beyond me, though I can see some smiles in my mind's eye over at least one story he told, about removing the plank in one's own eye, and then being able to remove the speck of sawdust from another's eye. I remember one time laughing with side-splitting laughter for the first ten minutes of a movie, then afterwards, scratching my head and finding the rest of it largely unfunny. I did read a review that indicated that its humor was more of the sophisticated type.

We get it on at work in various ways. It's especially good to laugh alot among true friends. We end up laughing at each other and at ourselves, and sometimes get a little carried away in that, but in the context of mutual respect and friendship. I've had good times in such settings. I still enjoy laughing daily, and we have our share of it at my work.

Humor is God-given and can be an indicator of our faith. We can take everything serious in a wrong way, in the sense that we seem to think that life depends all on us. But when we know that we have a sovereign Triune God who loves us, then we can rest assured in that, and we can enjoy some humor, knowing that God is at work in our world, and so all will be well in the end, even when all is not well now.

I look forward to the humor we'll experience someday together in the new heaven and new earth, in God's immediate presence. What a time that will be, and surely humor, especially among certain ones with a special gift of it, will be there and will fit in well with the rest of the wonder of that place and time.

Are there any musings out there on this subject?


Papa Poet said...

I too have always searched for the verse, "Jesus laughed." I think he did. Yet I still wish the verse were there.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Papa Poet,
No doubt. But me, too.

Anonymous said...

humor is serious business!

seriously, i think it is good to have a light heart.

i like what you said about being serious in a wrong way...thinking that life depends - all on us.

maybe it is good to be able to find a little humor in ourselvs so that the focus does not get to stuck in our selves.

good post, ted! thanks!


Ted M. Gossard said...

In the midst of tears and suffering we need to still be able to laugh.

But I know there are times when it is out of place. Ecclesiastes tells us there's a time to weep and a time to laugh.

But humor even in the face of suffering and trouble can be an act of faith or coming from faith as we refuse to be overcome and instead are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks. And thanks for your thoughts. Amen! It is good to be able to laugh at ourselves.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

I like laughing so hard that I fall in the floor, roll around and can't catch my breath because I have tears rolling down my face.

There's not nearly enough laughter in my life, especially not at work - we scientists are SOOOOOO serious - at least we take ourselves that way - it BORRING

Ted M. Gossard said...

When we were a part of a Vineyard church for a few years that helped lighten me up in alot of ways. I do tend to get overly serious, then I can go overboard on the other side. But I almost think it's a little more healthy to have the latter tendency than the former, and easier to recover one's self.

But yes, I know there's not much taking of myself too seriously anymore, or at least I would sure hope not. And in this determination to not take myself so seriously, I must be serious in it! So as to seriously with all gravity not take myself so seriously (my humor is only funny when I'm not trying; or when I'm trying to be serious).

Allan R. Bevere said...


Thanks for your post.

Many years ago, when I was in college, I read Elton Trueblood's book, The Humor of Christ. It completely revamped my view of the character of Jesus.

Ted M. Gossard said...

I need to check that book out! Thanks.

Rudy said...

I was told that the verse on Matthew 7:3 was actually a Hebrew joke. Back in those days, comparing ridiculously different proportions were considered funny.

I guess in today's standards, it would be a form of sarcasm.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks for those thoughts, Rudy. It is common, I think that what can be humor in one culture ends up being sarcasm or something else in another culture.