“A cheerful glance brings joy to the heart” (Proverbs 15:30). One of God’s greatest gifts to human beings is that of a sense of humor. It is a “donum bonum” a good gift from God, when it is rooted in a healthy sense of humility. This is why it is the source of “joy to the heart.” C.S. Lewis called humor the “all-consoling and.. the all-excusing, grace of life.” But even humor can be distorted by human sinfulness.
A cheerful person is a humble person, one who is psychologically balanced, and has a healthy sense of his or her own importance. Such a person’s inner life is joyful. A cheerful believer, that is, one who knows God, is one whose cheer and joy come directly from God. When such a person catches him or herself becoming uppity, or pompous, he or she is able to see the foolishness of such behavior and is able to laugh at him or herself. A cheerful person sees the good in all things and in all people. In our own experience, do we not feel better about ourselves in the presence of a cheerful person? Doesn’t the world look just a little bit brighter when we are in the presence of a cheerful person? As believers in Jesus Christ, ought we not be such a person?
To have a sense of humor is to be wise enough to see things in proportion. The cheer that comes from the heart of a believer is the result of one’s personal relationship with God. Let the psalmist speak for us here: “Ring out your joy to the Lord…Give thanks to the Lord upon the lyre…O sing to him a new song, play loudly, with all of your skill” (Psalm 33). Why? Because we are the beneficiaries of his faithfulness and because he is just and because his mercy and forgiveness are unrelenting. This is cause for real joy indeed.
One whose joy is from God brings nothing less than joy to all of his or her relationships, and to all circumstances. It is the Holy Spirit who fills the cheerful person’s heart with righteousness and peace. As Paul tells us in Romans 14: “…whoever serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by others.” Those who are cheerful in God are able to see the bright and dark moments of their day in the way that God sees them and their sense of proportion grows dictated by the holy values of God’s righteousness. If someone says he or she believes in God, but has no cheer in his or her heart, such a one cannot bring the joy of God to others. One cannot give what one does not have. Those who have the joy of God in their hearts bring that joy to everyone and to everything they do.
Lord, In you there is no darkness. Help us to see as you see, so that we can see and bring out the good that you have made all of creation and each one of us in. Fill our hearts to overflowing with the joy of your love, so that we may love others as you have loved us. We pray these things in the holy name of Jesus. Amen!
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