When was the last time you had a good laugh? Not just a ha ha chuckle laugh, but a big fat hurt your belly, producing tears kind of laugh? While you are pondering that question here’s another one for you, when was the last time you laughed at yourself?
As we enter into this season of Thanksgiving, there is so much we can be thankful for in our lives. But have you ever stopped for a second to consider being grateful for laughter, and being able to laugh at yourself? It’s not something everyone can do alone, but with God’s help and our faith in Him, I believe it’s possible.
You might be asking, “Why do I even want to laugh at myself?” Well, several studies have shown that laughing and not taking ourselves so seriously is better for our hearts and minds. Also people who have the ability to laugh at themselves seem to handle difficult situations with less stress and turmoil. When one can chuckle at himself they, according to Ursula Beermann who is a Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Psychology at the University of Innsbruck, says “the ability not to take yourself too seriously also can mean you’re prepared to acknowledge that you are not the center of the universe.” (Beermann, 2011, TIME)
Which brings me into the other part of this devotional, Love. As Christians, our center of attention should never be ourselves it should always be Jesus. We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
If we can’t love ourselves as God loves us, then how will we ever learn to love others, forgive those that have harmed us, find joy in our day-to-day lives or learn to laugh when we make a mistake? When we make God the center of our lives we will be blessed beyond anything we can imagine. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33) Even the ability to love yourself and laugh with yourself.
I love that Sarah was able to laugh in her old age after she birthed Isaac. She didn’t believe God would give her and Abraham a child, but He did. Sarah laughed and she knew it was a laughter brought from God because He loved her. I can only imagine the joyous sound of her laughter as others joined. My friend, this wasn’t just a little giggle, but a I can only guess for others to hear a pretty hearty voice of merriment. She may not have believed in herself, but God did. He believed in Sarah and Abraham that their lineage would lead us to Jesus.
Friend, we need to have faith in God’s yearning for us to love as He loves us. Not only to love others, but to love and care for ourselves. By being able to take ourselves less serious, getting up when we stumble, wiping off the dust, learning from our mistakes, asking for forgiveness, and laughing a little.
Here are a few verses to help us have an attitude of gratitude towards God’s Love for us, so in turn we can love in His image:
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” Ephesians 2:10
“For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.” Ephesians 5:29
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” John 15:9
My prayer this Thanksgiving season is for all of us to Love and Laugh because God first loved us. Have an attitude of gratitude for all of God’s blessings He has poured out on us. Sing a joyful noise of laughter and love to Him.
Just think friend, if we all could just start spreading the love of Jesus to our neighbors, communities, cities, and so on, what a difference we can make. We are living in a world that needs this kind of powerful love. As Mandisa sings, “We all bleed the same, we’re more beautiful when we come together.”
Let Go, Live Now, Live Joy, Friend!
Oh, and if you happen to trip walking into the in-laws or spill a little gravy down the front of you this Thanksgiving, just laugh it off and love those around you.