By Simeon L. Young Sr.
If I was the devil I would try to corner the market on laughter. I would try to convince Christians that it is silly and sinful to smile. I would tell them that sadness is spirituality.
I would don my suit of sackcloth and accessorize it appropriately with ashes and call myself an angel of light. But when I went to church I would spread gloom and despair. I would steal the Christian’s joy and
I would become a lying spirit in the mouths of scowling preachers and I would preach “It is better to go to the house of mourning. than to go to the house of feasting. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the
sadness of the countenance the heart is made better” (Ecclesiastes 7:2,3).
I would wax eloquent and pious with my best king’s English and say – “Wrinkle not thy face with too much laughter, lest thou become ridiculous: neither wanton thy heart with too much mirth, lest thou
become vain; the suburbs of folly is vain mirth, and profuseness of laughter is the city of fools.” -Ouarles.
I would polish my preaching style until it shined and hold forth snobbishly with – “Frequent and loud laughter is the characteristic of folly and ill manners; it is the manner in which the mob express their
silly joy at silly things, and which they call being merry, There is nothing so ill-bred as audible laughter True wit never makes a man laugh.”- Chesterfield,
I would not be worried about Christians witnessing, or fasting, or attending church, or doing a multitude of spiritual things as long as they never smiled or laughed while they did them.
If I was the devil I would stop at nothing in an all-out effort to stifle the Christian’s joy. I would entice them to get so deeply in debt that laughter wouldn’t have a ghost of a chance in their lives.
I would pit husband against wife, and brothers against sisters and children against parents in my crusade against joyous laughter in churches.
If I was the devil I would want the services to be grim, the singing to be mournful, the testimonies to be dull and routine, and the preaching to be lifeless and predictable.
But if I was a Christian (I am a Christian) and the devil tried those shenanigans on me I would resist the devil; I would say “Get behind me satan”; I would tread on that deadly serpent. And I would smile and
laugh and sing and rejoice just to spite that devilish kill-joy.
There is something wrong with any theology that is grim and devoid of the laughter that springs from joy. Animals can weep when they suffer, but only man, God’s masterpiece, is endowed with the power of laughter.
I cannot believe that God takes away the gift of laughter when he bestows the gift of eternal life in my mind, one of the saddest spectacles on earth is the sight of laughing inners and scowling saints.
Jesus said, “Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh” (Luke 6:21) The question is: when will the Christian laugh? What causes Christians to laugh?
There are two reasons people laugh. A comical or ridiculous situation can cause one to smile or laugh. That is the sole source of the world’s laughter. Jokesters,stand-up comedians, and clowns are in
demand. But much of the world’s comedy is sick and cruel and colored with sexual overtones.
Christians, on the other hand laugh because of joy.
Carlyle wrote, “A laugh to be joyous, must flow from a joyous heart . . Charles Spurgeon emphasized the importance of making the facial expression harmonize with the speech. He said, “When you speak of
heaven, let your face light up, let it be irradiated with a heavenly gleam, let your eyes shine with reflected glory But when you speak of hell – well, then your ordinary face will do.
When Sarah was ninety years old she bore a son whom she named Isaac – “he laughs” She said, “God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear me will laugh with me” (Genesis 21:6), She had laughed nine months earlier when God had said she would have a son. That promise seemed ridiculous and even comical. But now she is laughing for joy in the fulfillment of God’s promise.
One of the Psalms of degrees or ascent spoke to me with great force recently “When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, ‘The Lord hath done great things for them,’ The Lord hath done great things for us whereof we are glad . . . they that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalms 126)
Certainly, I am not advocating a frivolous Christianity. But I would suggest that the more we scowl the more the devil smiles. And conversely, the more we laugh the more the devil laments.
And that’s no joke.
(The above information was published by THE APOSTOLIC TRUMPET) Christian Information Network