Solomon taught us in Proverbs 17:22, that “Laughter is a good medicine.” When you study the biblical kinds of sicknesses you will find that not all illnesses are physical. Some of the diseases referred to in Scripture are emotional 16 dictatorand spiritual. When Solomon talks about laughter being good medicine he’s suggesting it’s good for healing all kinds of sicknesses. One kind of healing that laughter encourages is healing from addictive sins. Some of us have had huge battles with addictive behavior and although we’ve had some victories over them just continually feel oppressed by these temptations. The addictions still dominate our lives. Instead of focusing all our attention on addiction itself, we focus all of our attention on abstaining from the addiction. But no matter how you look at it, the addiction still dominates our thinking. It still controls us.

I don’t like to think of these addictions as demons. I don’t think there is a demon of alcohol. I don’t think there is a demon of tobacco. I don’t think there is a demon of pornography. But I believe that Satan uses all of these things against us. His very name is the “adversary.” He uses everything he can to hold us back, keep us down and destroy our Christian joy. Laughter helps do battle. It can often bring healing of this disease and victory over our enemy. In 1940 the entire world trembled at one European country that had nearly conquered the entire continent. Although he was only 5’ 8” tall his war machine was second to none and threatened the safety of the entire world. Then a 5’ 5” comedian named Charlie Chaplin made a movie called “The Great Dictator.” Chaplin mocked Hitler, made fun of him and the Nazi movement and moved the whole world to laugh at this menace. All of a sudden Hitler didn’t seem that powerful! Through laughter this little comedian convinced the world that Hitler was beatable. The allies rallied there forces and did just that – defeated Hitler and destroyed the Great War machine.

I can’t tell you how many times men have come to me with help with drugs, alcohol, and pornography addictions. Many times they would break down in tears. I would weep with them. We’d get on our knees and pray for deliverance. I remember one man spread eagle on my office floor. During The Promise Keeper’s movement of the late 1990’s, I had little time for anything else. Yet, many of these men never experienced freedom from these sins. Whether they abstained or not they remained obsessed with the sickness. Like the world in 1940 we attributed way too much power to the little evil dictators in our lives. Comedy disarms the culprit! Ephesians 5:11 teaches us, “Have nothing to do with the worthless things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light.” Nothing shines the light on the dictators in life more than laughter. Nerenberg, a self-proclaimed “Laughologist” leads a six week recovery workshop where he teaches addicts to laugh. His success has been remarkable. He says, “Laughter therapy is proving to be a powerful salve for addicts who may otherwise feel themselves to be in a very dark place.” I guess there may be more than I imagined in the advice to, “just laugh it off.”