BRADY COLUMN: Laughter is good

Published 4:53 pm Friday, January 5, 2024

A minister friend said she was preaching on Jesus and the blind man.  She asked the children, “What did the blind man see when he first opened his eyes?”  A little boy responded, “Is that my wife?” Laughter is good.  Recently, a friend was wearing rabbit ears while serving as a pink lady in the hospital.  I said to her, “Wouldn’t it be bad if nobody noticed those ears?” She said, “Dr. Brady, I put these on to make people smile or laugh.  Laughter is good.  Someone once pointed out that laughter is the closest thing to the grace of God.” Have you ever noticed?  Laughter melts the boundaries between very different kinds of people.  In the moment of getting the joke, it really doesn’t matter if we are well- to-do or in need, Republican or Democrat or anything else.  For that moment, we are united by our laughter. Laughter is good.

And you don’t think God has a sense of humor?  The French philosopher Voltaire, one of the greatest minds who ever lived, hated the Old Testament.  His anti-Jewishness is well known.  One day he announced from his home in Geneva that in 100 years the Bible would be a forgotten book, found only in museums.  One hundred years later, Voltaire’s home was occupied by the Geneva Bible Society.  As I asked, “you don’t think God has a sense of humor? Laughter is good.

Three boys are bragging about their fathers. “My dad can shoot an arrow and reach the target before the arrow does.” “Well, my dad is a hunter and he can fire his gun and be there before the bullet.” “That’s nothing,” the third boy days, “My dad works for the city.  He stops working at 4:30 and gets home at 3:45.”

Comedian Michael Pritchard says, “You don’t stop laughing because you grow old.  You grow old because you stop laughing.”  Writing in his book “Outrageous Contagion,” Dr. Ed Young, Dallas pastor and author, speaks of the benefits of laughter.  I’d like to share several of his thoughts in addition to my own.

Laughter makes us feel good.  For thousands of years, God has told us that laughter is good medicine (Proverbs 27:22).  And it is! 

Years ago, I remember Norman Cousins reporting that he healed his crippling arthritis not only by traditional medicine, but by watching the Marx Brothers and the Three Stooges as well.  Of course, he was talking about the healing power of laughter.

Laughter gives us proper perspective!  It gives us a proper perspective on life.  Laughter keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously and that makes everybody around us happier. Laughter eases stress!  At one point in my ministry, I was the color man on the radio for a high school football team that went 0 and 10. It took a lot of laughter to ease our way through that season.

Laughter pleases God!  As parents, nothing pleases us more than to see our children or grandchildren laughing and enjoying life.  It’s the same way with our Heavenly Father.  Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10).  Abundant life is joyful life.  So, let’s laugh more and make our lives and the lives of others all the better.  Laughter is good!