Laughter – What is the Biblical Ideal?

I would like to thank Burning Bush for bringing this to my attention – this idea of the biblical approach to laughter. It really gave me something to think about.

Luke 6:21-25 mentions laughter as the antithesis of mourning/weeping 2X in a matter of a few verses – making one ponder what ideal is being taught there. Is laughter a bad thing? I don’t think so.

I think the verses reitterate an obvious idea about dealing with our pain/hurts in our own lives – so that we can laugh again (have joy in our lives). The teaching is this:

(a) If you do not deal with your pain (and the seriousness thereof) and hide behind laughter – later on you when it all wears down – you will weep/mourn for the state of affairs you might be found in.

(b) If you deal with your pain/hurts (face them head on) at some point you will heal – and later on you will be able to enjoy life and have joy/laughter/gladness.

Laughter is not a bad thing. Actually, I find it one of the greatest human traits we share one with another (can put a smile on our face). I am reminded of a few biblical examples:

(1) In Gen 21:5-7 Sara names her son Isaac (which means laughter). She attributes her laughter to God and thinks people will laugh with her – for this birth at such an age. Sara see’s her laughter as a great thing (names her son it).

(2) Psalm 126:1-3 talks about laughter in a similar fashion as I see in the Luke verses. We see the captives are freed and this erupts in ideas of joy, laughter, and gladness. I see this as the same idea about dealing with our pain, getting healed (freed), then we are free to have the joy we desire.

(3) Ecclesiastes 3:4 mentions the idea – where Luke would of framed the teaching from about Jesus – since it so similar. Solomon says there is ‘a time to weep and time to laugh’ (there is a time for everything). Laughter is not seen as bad here – but in the right context – can be seen as something healthy – a part of normal life. Again weeping is the antithesis of laughter.

I think laughter is a great gift we have been given – and we share it with one another. Yes we must mourn and weep (deal with pain) but we also can heal and have joy – laughter is an expression of that. I think if we laughed a little more and were a little less serious – think of the ramifications on one’s life. We might just find we are ‘happy’ after all?