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Why I Laugh All the Time

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I love to laugh.

If you’ve listened to my sermons, read my articles, or sat through a solo podcast episode, then you know that I like to make jokes and laugh at myself. Some people find my humor cringey, others find it funny, but most of the time it’s hard to tell who is laughing at me and who is laughing with me.

And I like that.

I don’t tell jokes or say something dumb because I think it will make others laugh; I do it because it makes me laugh, and other people laughing is just a plus.

That’s also the story behind a lot of my writings and teachings; I am the original audience, and I throw it out there in hopes that someone else will read it, listen to it, like it, or maybe, just maybe, it will help them to become a better version of themselves.

And sometimes I laugh because I feel like I’m in on the joke.

For example, when I read one of my old sermon outlines, which were mainly lists of passages, I just break out in laughter.

Matthew 7:13-14
Proverbs 14:12
Matthew 7:21-23
1 Corinthians 1:10-13
Romans 16:16-17
Ephesians 1:22-23
Galatians 3:27

I did that one from memory, and yes, I laughed.

I laugh because so many things I thought mattered SO much don’t seem to matter at all in light of the overwhelming grace of God I have come to know and that has pursued me for so long.

I laugh because I was so worried, so anxious, about myself and everyone else.

I would pull over at churches that had just let out on Wednesday night to confront their pastor. One guy asked me, “Who sent you here?” And I told him that Jesus did, and I cited Mark 16:15-16 to prove my case.

He thought that surely I was in on some sort of practical joke, but really I was just convinced he was lost, so I felt compelled to pull over and talk to him about how he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

But now I think back to that story and laugh because of course I did that. What else would 2013 Daniel do? I wouldn’t expect him to act any differently.

I laugh because, on this side looking back, I can just imagine God’s reaction to me. God probably felt a lot like I do when Cayden tries and fails to do some grown up or “big boy” task. I’m filled with joy as he fumbles around, falls down, gets back up, and tries again. “Look at him go!” I say. Or maybe I’ll whisper to Laura to watch closely as he puts a diaper on his Raphael action figure and rocks his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle friend to sleep.

But I laugh because trying to turn a three-year-old into a five-year-old or a twenty year old isn’t fair, so why not just enjoy his cuteness while I can?

And why cringe at my past or worry about my future when I know the Truth – Jesus.

And when Jesus sets you free, what is there to worry about any more? All of those questions about methods of worship or who is in and who is out seem so pointless in light of the Truth.

And so when I watch someone else’s sermon who talks about what I used to believe and uses the same verses I did, sometimes I laugh. I try not to, especially if I’m doing a review, because I don’t want others to think that I’m judging them. Really what I’m doing is laughing at myself, and, in another sense, I’m laughing because I know how happy they will be when they find out that God isn’t who they say God is, and when they finally realize it, either in this life or the next, that they will laugh too.

So I love to laugh, and I want to invite you to be part of this amazing inside joke: God loves you. When Adam and Eve were in the Garden, the only people surprised by Adam and Eve’s nakedness were Adam and Eve. God knew the whole time, so don’t be surprised when you find yourself tempted to hide behind trees when God goes for a walk in the cool of the day; instead, join in on the laughter because forgiveness, grace, and mercy are available like you would never believe!

Trust in this love, and you can learn to laugh too.

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