Humor & Wit

6:42 PM

For some reason, people laugh at me (or with me) alot. But I laugh at people (with people) alot, so I guess it all evens out. My sense of humor came mostly from my dad. I don't know where my wit came from. Wit is an odd thing. It must always be kept in good regulation. Very often wit is confused with quick speech-a.ka. recipe for sin! If wit is not tamed by Godliness, it is usually just sharp and cutting words. If there's anything I learned from my dad, it is that humor can be hilarious without being impure, mean-spirited or a lie.

Here are some Scriptures that have spoken to me or guided me or convicted me regarding humor & wit:

"Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear."
Ephesians 4:29

Does this comment give grace? Does it strengthen? Does it edify?
Is this comment appropriate for this moment?

"Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows and death, so is the man who deceives his neighbor, And says, " Was I not joking?"
Proverbs 26:28-19

Is this comment entirely true?

"But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth."
Colossians 3:8

Does this comment exploit, slander or otherwise abuse someone?
Does this comment abuse myself?

Note: While many people use self-deprecating humor to "break the ice" with new acquaintances or even just as their style of humor, I don't like it. Furthermore, I believe that God doesn't like it. Self-deprecating means "belittling or undervaluing oneself; excessively modest. Tending to undervalue oneself and one's abilities." People seem to unconsciously assume that because they are not belittling anyone else, this humor is acceptable to God. This humor can come from two (equally evil) sources: lack of understanding of God's value of them or false humility. First, on the value note, God did create each person. He loves them with an unimaginable amount of love. He created a plan of salvation that sacrified His only Son. Wouldn't you say that means each person is incredibly valuable to Him? Wouldn't you say that you ought to value the person that God values-even if it is yourself? Sometimes this kind of humor is manipulative. A person believes they are worthless. They belittle themselves in the guise of joking so that someone else will reassure them of their worth. A bit like reverse psychology, isn't it? The flesh does some weird things. On the false humility note, this happens when a person is full of pride. They recognize that there is some good talent, ability or aspect about them, so they downplay it-just waiting for someone to say, "Oh no! You're not * that* bad!"

Anyway, I'm definitely not claiming to be perfect in this area. Far from it actually. But the Lord has worked in my heart and changed me in many ways. I'm convinced that humor is just outflow of the joy that God has put in our hearts. And when we are able to laugh at ourselves, others and life situations and find humor even in the hard times (without stooping into worldliness), God is glorified!

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