Laughter removes distance and walls between people. It bridges differences and brings people together. It is like a healthy massage to the body (or a tickle), and it makes you forget your problems and difficulties.
A few weeks ago, a friend asked me to write an article for the Destiny Magazine. My first thought was, “Oh, dear. What in the world am I going to write about that ANYONE would want to read?” My second thought was, “Are there any limits, or can I just take over the entire magazine? Because I do have a lot to say!”
The suggestion for this article was 500-800 words. This is where I have a predicament. Studies show that the average woman uses around 20,000 words per day! Now, I consider myself ABOVE average so imagine the difficulty of corralling all my words into this tiny, tiny restriction! What in the world was I going to do here? I had a very difficult decision to make. So, the question became, “How could I effectively convey personal experiences on a subject within such tight constraints imposed upon me?”
The first word that came to mind was “laughter.” If you know me at all, you know that I LOVE to laugh. And I love to laugh with others. I thrive when I am influencing others to laugh.
A little “heads up” here to begin. This is not intended to be a deep, 4-point dissertation on the subject. So, this may not “tickle” your theological funny bone.
Years ago, I taught a message to our church about laughter. I truly believe it is vital to our spiritual, mental and physical health. After all, can we really be Christ followers and not be joyful people? In my opinion, there is nothing worse than a grouchy Christian.
I will have to admit something to you that very few know. When I met Kevin (the hubs) in Bible College, he IMMEDIATELY was attracted to me and wanted to marry me right away (LOL). However, one of the things he questioned was my ability to ever be serious. I have since attained a little wisdom in knowing proper times to laugh and have a good time. He has also joined in on laughing with me (and at me).
If I have learned one thing through the years, it is that there are appropriate and inappropriate times to laugh, both of which I have been a part. I remember as a child being called out by my loving pastor during a packed-out Sunday night service because I got tickled at something and could NOT stop laughing. How many of you have been caught by the tickle bug during serious moments? It was definitely an inappropriate time to laugh. The wisdom of Ecclesiastes 3:4 comes to mind, “A time to weep, a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”
A good sense of humor can’t cure all ailments, but there is definitely overwhelming data suggesting that laughter brings short-term and long-term medical benefits. Laughter stimulates many organs (it jiggles our insides which is basically exercise), activates and relieves stress, soothes tension, improves your immune system, and relieves pain, just to name a few. Science has proven why the Bible tells us to laugh!
Here are just a few scriptures for examples:
Psalm 126:2 NLT – “We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said “What amazing things the Lord has done for them.”
Ecclesiastes 8:15 NLT – “So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.”
Proverbs 17:22 NLT – “A happy heart is good medicine and a joyful mind causes healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”
Laughter is a physical sign of the inward working of the Holy Spirit. It is a response to possessing abundant happiness and joy!
Life can be so stinkin’ hard at times! There have been seasons in my life where I looked around and said… “Wait a minute! Where is my joy? Where did my laughter go? They were right here with me a minute or 2 (or 3) ago, and they’re gone!” The enemy, (and maybe people), tried to take my joy and laughter. I decided in those moments that, “No, no, no! I’m NOT going to give the enemy or people that kind of power!” I had to encourage myself in the Lord, renew my mind, and remind myself that the joy of the Lord is my strength, and nothing can take that from me!
Job 8:21 says, “He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” God is the very one who fills our mouths with laughter. His desire is to give us joy, even in the hardest of circumstances.
If you don’t laugh enough, (for me it is several times a day), or if you need joy and laughter restored in your life, begin by renewing your mind, and ask the Lord to refresh you. This doesn’t mean that circumstances change, but it sure does help to change our perspective and help us through difficult times. I am living proof that laughter is a reminder to live life with joy and positivity.
Finally, laughter has a contagious effect. When one person begins to laugh, it often infects others and brings them to laughter.
So, come on; give it a try! Start with a little chuckle, and hopefully it will turn into a full-blown laugh! I promise. It will make you feel better and more relaxed. Life will seem more bearable, even in difficult seasons. That’s the natural wonder of laughter at work!
“Trouble knocked at the door, but, hearing laughter, hurried away.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
Tricia Edwards is a dynamic woman of many talents and a heart for service. As a mother, she brings warmth, love, and stability to her family. Together with her husband, Kevin, they pastor a church in Carterville, IL which they planted 11 years ago. As a pastor’s wife, she is a true partner to her husband, offering encouragement, support, and prayer to their church community. Tricia’s musical gifts are a blessing to all who hear her, as she uses her beautiful voice to lead worship and perform at special events. She is also a talented comedian, using her quick wit and humor to bring joy and laughter to audiences everywhere. With her passion for spreading positivity and spreading the Word of God, Tricia is an inspiration to all who have the privilege of knowing her.
This article was originally published in the 2023 Spring Edition of the Destiny Magazine. You can find the online edition here.