I was 29 years old. Serious. Life and ministry was no laughing matter. My mistakes were not to be seen nor heard. My mistakes though were the laughter of others. I was embarrassed.
I sat across the table from my pastor whose words will forever be etched in my memory and will forever change my life. “Jason, you have to learn to laugh at yourself. I find life easier if you simply join in the fun.”
Those words were not only healing but comforting and empowering since they were coming from a leader who I loved and adored. He was giving me the freedom I already possessed to empower me and find the mental toughness I would need in the future to manage personal conflict and failures.
Secure people laugh at themselves. And yes, I was at that time very insecure. I wanted to prove who I was as a man, a minister, and a leader. Inside I was dying yet I found freedom and security in laughing at myself and not taking myself too serious.
Today, I have found freedom and joy in not taking myself so seriously. There is a freedom to know I may not have it all together and to top it off, laugh about it. There is a sense of calm knowing I may not have all the answers and yet, laugh about it.
Proverbs say laughter is as good as medicine. (17:22) Most people take medicine religiously once or twice a day. Missing a pill could lead to sickness or even death. I believe we should take God’s prescription and laugh once or twice a day. Laughter is powerful. Laughter is healing.
Do you have nothing to laugh at? The book of Job declares God will fill your mouth with laughter. (8:21) Ask God to fill you mouth with laughter and watch who God brings in your life to make you smile and laugh.
One reason it may be hard to laugh at yourself or laugh in general is because you have no joy. Joy is our strength as a believer. (Nehemiah 8:10) Yet, joy is no where to be found in your life. No joy, no strength. No joy in a believers life is a weak and dying believer. A believer should be full of joy, laughter, and peace.
Take steps in learning to laugh at yourself. Don’t take life so seriously. Laugh. Laugh until you cry – not sad tears but tears of joy. Ask God to fill your mouth with laughter. Let people who see you begin to know to new you, the joyous you, and you filled with laughter. Laugh. And then, laugh again.