Although it isn’t specified anywhere in the Bible that I can recall seeing, humor is a gift from God, just as much as teaching, prophecy, compassion, patience, etc. are all gifts from God.
It just has to be! I mean, look at us- we are so incompetent and foolish we should be in a deep funk every moment of our lives, yet because we can laugh at ourselves our frustration of being who we are is less damaging to our emotions and psyche.
We are told about many people, from Abraham to Moses, to Isaiah, to John, Shaul (Paul) and others. These people were holy, and we read of their emotions often. Yet we don’t read about them laughing or telling jokes or just having a good time. Even when we read about Yeshua (Jesus) there is no specific reference to His having a good time, yet we know He attended weddings. So, while at a wedding (which in those days was a one week celebration with food, dance, song and drink), do you really think Jesus just sat in the corner, like a wallflower, spewing out parables while everyone else was having a good time?
I don’t think so!
I believe He was dancing and singing and laughing, and enjoying Himself along with everyone else.
Again, there isn’t anything in the writings of the Apostles that specifically said Yeshua laughed, or sang, or danced. We are told that He cried (John 11:35) and that He showed frustration when He asked how long He would have to put up with people who just didn’t get the message (Matthew 17:17′ Mark 9:19), so if Yeshua was able to be sad and to be frustrated (somewhat), and we know that because He had taken on human form He was human, then it just makes sense that He must have also had all the other emotions that go with being human. Right?
A small caveat here, one that is my personal opinion: when we are dealing with God, we can’t trust the expression or thought that something must “make sense” because what is sensible to a human being has nothing at all to do with what is sensible to God. We are barely able to see past our noses, and God can see all the way to the end of eternity, so just because it makes “sense” that Yeshua had to have all the emotions humans do, we can’t say that is an absolute fact.
Historically, He has been painted as somber and melancholy because (I think) we expect that being “holy” means being, well…boring. If I am holy, I don’t laugh (which sometimes indicates a lack of seriousness), and if I am holy I don’t have fun (which indicates I am just like everyone else), and if I am holy all I ever do is decry the sinfulness of the world and show people that they need to be a holy, boring, stick-in-the-mud wet blanket, like I am.
I certainly hope not!
I think that humor is one of the greatest gifts God has given us- it should be included in Ephesians 6 as part of the Armor of God. I believe, and have had it confirmed, that God has given me His gift of humor, and I try to use it to make people happy, or (at least) less sad. I don’t always use this gift well, but I am now much more “appropriate” with it than I was before I was saved.
Humor can turn around anger, it can bring forth good feelings, it can bring light into a dark place, and it can also be used to make people realize how foolishly they are acting without making them mad.
When I was in Sales, I used humor as a sales tactic because I learned that people buy from people; if you can make someone laugh, they can’t help but like you. That bonding is what gave me an advantage when we had to close the sale.
There are basically two types of people: those who make jokes, and those who laugh at them. Each one has a sense of humor, and the funniest times I have ever seen are when two jokers get together because those who make jokes love to laugh at other’s jokes (and steal them, too.) Whether through telling a joke, or making a humorous statement, or providing a humorous narrative, use your God-given sense of humor to make people happy. If you are a missionary, use humor to bond with people and break down their resistance to hear about God; if you teach a congregation, use humor to help them remember the message; if you are counseling someone, use humor (carefully) to reduce their pain and help them see the funny side of their troubles.
Almost every great humorist that ever lived went through a lot of T’souris (troubles) in his or her life, which is where the humor comes from.
Humor is an emotional balm that God has given us to help heal our painful existence in a fallen and cursed world, so when you are feeling down, take two jokes and throw a pie in someone’s face in the morning.