In Ecclesiastes 8:15, Solomon exhorts us to live life with joy. He says, “I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that 15 lolGod has given him under the sun.” Many commentators point out the differences between joy and laughter. Laughter is often referred to in a negative way while joy is seen as more profound and more spiritual. But I’m convinced that the right kind of laughter is divine. The right kind of laughter might even be described as exuberant or radical joy. God created us with the emotions we have and among them is the capacity to laugh. In the comedy central world we live in, I will admit, most of the sexually laced humor we are exposed to is inappropriate. Paul says in Ephesians 5:4, “Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you.” Solomon is not affirming this kind of humor when he tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:4 that “there is a time to laugh.” But he is commending a light hearted life style that learns how not to take things to seriously; how to laugh at ourselves and situations we encounter in life.

Laughter is the physical explosion of radical joy. Whatever the settled more spiritual joy we might find in our lives works its way from the inside to the outside. Solomon said in Proverbs 15:13. “A glad heart makes a cheerful face…” Joy, radical Joy, shows itself on our faces. Unfortunately many Christians have been brainwashed into believing all laughter is bad and go about life with somber attitudes and sober expressions all the time. They look like they need some medicine. Doctor Solomon has written us all a prescription for this sickness. In Proverbs 17:22 he tells that “…laughter is good medicine.” Looking at Ecclesiastes 8:15 again we see Doctor Solomon’s reason for prescribing joy. He says, “…, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun.”

You know very well that there are many trials in life. A study on humor in the Women’s Study Bible puts it this way: Life can become taxing at times, and moments come when we desperately need a change. Laughter is one way the Creator gave us to switch gears and punctuate monotony with joy. Humor is an exit from the mundane ‘road of life.’ Laughter is a simple yet reasonable prescription for some of life’s ills and most of its tedium. Physicians have assigned healing properties to humor, especially in cases of mental illness, such as depression. Certainly humor defuses tensions and helps put at ease. With so much tragedy in life, choosing humor instead of despair is good scriptural advice. Humor generally involves an acceptance of the ups and downs of life and the determination not to take ourselves too seriously. To combat stress, to relieve tension, and even to provide delightful diversion in the midst of trials and sufferings, laughter and a keen sense of humor may prove to be precious possessions.” Let you face show some joy; laugh!