What’s so funny about Mr. Bean? I don’t know, but I’m laughing –hysterically. Is it his unkempt appearance, his vivid faces, his grunt, his crazy viewpoint on things? – his speechless way? Yes, the less words the better; and this leads us to a Murphy’s law, “open mouth, enter foot.” Ecclesiastes 5:3 teaches “a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.”
I want to talk about what makes us laugh, what messes up our joy, and what hinders our peace. Friends, “He that hath knowledge spares his words:” Proverb 17:27. “Let thy words be few.” Ecclesiastes 5:3. “In the multitude of words there wants not sin.” Proverbs 10:19. Enough said.
In Daniel, Satan wears out the saints of the Most High. How? Words, words, words; says so in the Hebrew definitions. Words start fires that burn out of control; they are extinguishing our capacity to enjoy life. Conversation after conversation our joy-power wanes. The words are too long, scattered, changing subjects oft, or leaving out sense. “I can’t take it!” When they are vague or void of precision; they make us toil, no fun here – and so the energy sap.
Busy, busy, busy, we encounter hectic, engaging, attention demanding syllables and phrases which confront our minds. Two schemes of many concern us: first, some use words to escape action; second, others use words to protect self-worth without believing.
“Put your money where your mouth is.” We say this because folks use word-screens as a bluff to disguise ineptness of various kinds— “throw a volley of words at em” is from Smoke Screening 101.
Fellows, dear people are manipulating their way through life by reasoning their selves out of every call to faith. Then, excuse-filled jargon scuffs others because it counters God’s sanctifying work in all of our souls. No, no, no, Joy comes through relinquishing our rights, agreeing with God, toughing the loss but finding the replacement. Let it go, dude, just let stuff go. Wronged? Bear it, who cares?
We love the “Honeymooners” of life, they never initiate smart-guy lingo, and they resist the urge. “What you see is what you get.” We feel close to these types because they are un-sophisticated. They are not classy or clever. They breathe simplicity. They are like children, easy to love. Our funny-bone resounds at their naivete, innocence, ingenuousness, transparency-–so refreshing.
The Seinfeld team made us howl. These folks tried hard at maturity but were hopelessly weak. Red Skelton pantomimed hilarity. We watched his face and roared. Jackie Gleason raged without conscience. Art Carney showed us gullibility — Something about absence of pretense that makes us smile; the phony baloney is missing.
Hey, we weren’t born yesterday. We grope for “real.” We long for translucency. We understand that maybe it is not possible for some, and we certainly love those brothers and sisters. We laugh still.
In closing, to “humor” somebody means to indulge them, accommodate, pander to, cater to, or yield to them. In self-denigrating humor a soccer-mom family fall into poverty and take up thievery as a last resort and then recover, a Wiley coyote admits failure after several injurious blasts, and Cookie Monster can’t stop eating cookies.
Life’s impossibilities and frustrations are so self-identifying when openly spoken of. We all encounter the same stuff. To laugh at these similarities is releasing. Charley Brown, we love you.
So, what is the point? Joy is strength, and laughter is medicine. God’s grace allows us to embrace our state, even if it’s below ground. With merriment we serve the Lord, with joviality we find energy to build God’s kingdom. In glee we speak grace words, life words. We forsake the un-joyful stuff and are laughing all the way.
Who cares if our money is low, who cares if our health is suspect? God has chosen the poor of the world, rich in faith. Who’s counting if we have no skills or aptitude, nobody sees the inward peace we own.
Finally, we are what we are by the grace of God. Paul said it. Quit defending your weakness, glory in it, and quit trying to be someone you ain’t. Your particulars diversify the kingdom. So, you’re the toe, the elbow, or the armpit. Have fun being what God made you as. You are life-supply to the Body of Christ. What are others doing? We don’t have to know, we can’t. Let em go, God placed you right there. Thrive and laugh. Love ya.