Monday, June 30, 2014

The Meaning of a Laugh

From Merriam Webster Dictionary

:to show that you are happy or that you this something is funny by smiling or making a sound from your throat.

:to think or say that something or someone is foolish and does not deserve serious attention or respect.

:to not be bothered by something.

     We laugh at comedians or sitcoms.  We laugh at movie comedies.  We laugh when we get great news because we found exceeding joy in it.  We laugh at children playing or doing something for the first time.  When we enjoy things and people, we tend to laugh.  Harry Ward Beecher coined the phrase, "Mirth is God's best medicine".  This may have been where we got the phrase, "Laughter is the best medicine".  And according to HELPGUIDE.ORG, "Humor and laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts energy, diminishes pain, and protects you from damaging effects from stress".

     There are times when we laugh at things that are ridiculous or foolish, in a manner of disrespect.  We may mock or ridicule someone for being different, or we do so because they seem stupid to us.  God laughed at wicked fools in the Bible, not because they were funny, or that He was amused.  He scoffed at them because of their sin.  On the other hand, God does delight in us when we obey, so I'm sure He laughs with joy.  God does give us a sense of humor.  After all, we are made in His image, and you know He has to have a sense of humor to have created us.  We are funny people at times.

     To laugh something off is another way of dealing with something that has happened to you.  You laugh it off as if you weren't bothered by it.  Maybe it just didn't mean anything to you, or maybe it bothered you so badly, you couldn't handle it any other way.  In my life I would laugh or use humor when I was uncomfortable, sort of to break the ice.  Laughing is very contagious, so spread it around when things are humorous in a tactful way.  Be careful if it is a mocking laugh.  We have all had our "stupid" moments.  And if you are dealing with pain in your life, laugh it off, but appropriately.  But please beware.  Don't laugh to death.  That's not good medicine! 

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