June 13 2012

Humor can be either detrimental and sinful, or innocent and healthy, depending on the use and context. Humor is a gift granted by God that allows humans to have pleasure through a curious experience called being amused.

The nature of amusement, and why certain things amuse us humans, has long been a wonder of mine. While everyone has a somewhat unique sense of humor, senses of humor tend to resemble each other, and there are certain things that most people find “funny.” The simplest, most mundane little things can be sources of amusement.

Much humor is completely harmless, and laughter can actually be a great benefit to one’s physical and mental health. Laughing, besides being pleasurable, lifts one’s mood and “brightens” one’s state of mind. However, It can also unfortunately be a bad thing. Using various sinful topics as sources of amusement, for example, is no doubt sinful and displeasing to God.

Comedic relief can also become a scapegoat for situations which should really not be laughed at. It can also be a consuming distraction, as with any pleasure. If someone gets caught up in the pursuit of amusement it may become a illegitimate priority for them that gets in the way of their relationship with God. It then becomes sinful, even if the original intentions were not. It is important to be sure we assess our humor, its sources, the function it serves for us, and the priority it holds in our lives.

David Steltz

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד
וְאָ֣הַבְתָּ֔ אֵ֖ת יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ֥ וּבְכָל־נַפְשְׁךָ֖ וּבְכָל־מְאֹדֶֽך
וְאָֽהַבְתָּ֥ לְרֵעֲךָ֖ כָּמ֑וֹךָ