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More Musing on Humor February 22, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Random Musings.
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Joe,

I am actually not too shocked by your last post, and especially the questions that the video I posted raised. In fact, when I first titled the post I called it, ‘Funny, and Sad’ but then I changed it because I thought such a title would warrant a longer explanation than I felt like giving yesterday. You offered much of that explanation in your post!

All that to say that I understand your feeling as if the video was not really something that ought to amuse us. The truth behind it — that many millions of people will suffer eternally for bowing only before the altar of self — is certainly not funny. So why did I post it?

Well, you suggested that maybe it was a defense mechanism. Maybe, though I don’t know. What I do know is that much of my life is entrenched in controversy and quarreling. That is how it is in ministry. My soul is constantly wearied by quarreling, misunderstandings, disagreements, etc. Do I weep over all those things as I ought to, as I would like to? No, I don’t. But I also think that if I have no outlet at all, if I was unable to step back for a couple of minutes during the day to laugh or smile, that I would probably not last in the work of ministry through the end of this week.

Perhaps the video was a defense mechanism, but perhaps it was just a way to take 85 seconds off from the daily grind and take a breath. Perhaps the way I took that breath was a poor use of 85 seconds, I don’t know. I do not think that it trivialized or belittled the burden I have to see people rescued from bondage to self to treasure and esteem the glory of the Savior. If it was a communication to others that the worship of self is essentially a funny thing to be laughed at, then I would certainly feel bad about that. You know, as do our readers who know me, that’s not how I feel. But there are also people who check our blog who have never met us and don’t know our hearts. So I am thankful for your challenge and the opportunity it allows me to clarify and qualify my thinking.

On a semi-related note, I wonder if Jesus got a laugh out of people when He said, “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3). The context is certainly not a funny one, but that is a funny image. I am inclined to think that people laughed, and perhaps even that Jesus intended people to laugh at it; to laugh them into shame. Is it possible that a video like this one might do the same?

Does that mean we should just laugh at anything and everything? No, certainly it doesn’t. But it may mean (and I stress it may, because I don’t want to abuse or stretch texts like Matthew 7:3 beyond what is clear, but I am just trying to use my imagination like you want me to!!) that even in dealing with and confronting sin — such as American absorption with self — there may be a time when a pause for laughter is not inappropriate.

These are just some random musings, brother. Your post certainly made me think. I agree with much of what you wrote, and yet still found the clip to be mildly humorous and don’t really feel as though my amusement was dishonoring to God. But it definitely gives us all an opportunity to think, as you suggested, about what we laugh at and why we laugh at it. I would think that we should all take close examination of our own hearts for the answer to that question.

Larry

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