Laughing or Weeping

“Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.” (Ecclesiastes 7:3)

People like to be made to laugh, and many professional comics make a good living telling jokes and doing slapstick comedy. Even in the realm of Christian ministry, those preachers and teachers who can keep their audiences laughing are often the most popular, especially among young people.

No doubt humor has a place, but it needs to be kept in perspective. Solomon had everything and tried everything, including activities promoting laughter and merriment, and was soon disillusioned. “I said in mine heart, . . . I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity. I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth: What doeth it?” (2:1-2).

In fact, some of it does harm, for convivial jesting all too often depends on bawdy humor, especially in today’s movies and television sitcoms. Concerning this problem, the Bible warns, “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, . . . Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting” (Ephesians 5:3-4).

It is significant that we never read of Jesus laughing (nor Paul or any of the other apostles, for that matter), but we do read of Him weeping (Luke 19:41; John 11:35). In fact, He said on one occasion, “Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep” (Luke 6:25). Similarly, the apostle James said, “Be afflicted, and mourn and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness” (James 4:9).

There is much in the Bible encouraging us toward joy and happiness, of course. In a world of tears, we can be “as sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10), knowing that “he that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:6). HMM

The Latest
NEWS
ICR Discovery Center Update
In winter, we usually think of hunkering down, staying in, and slowing the pace. But even when Dallas got colder than Antarctica, crews were hard at...

PODCASTS
Balancing Body Temperature
The 2018 Winter Olympics have arrived! Have you ever wondered how athletes can be out in the frigid temperatures and still sweat after finishing...

NEWS
Evolutionists Celebrate Darwin Day
February 12th is Darwin Day—Charles Darwin’s birthday. Many secular and humanist organizations set aside this day to honor Darwin and his...

NEWS
Secret Eugenics Conference Has Dark Darwinian Roots
A breaking news story by the London Student in early January exposed a “secret” eugenics conference held annually at University College...

PODCASTS
Beauty in Motion
We’re approaching the 2018 Winter Olympics. Are you looking forward to seeing great athletes go for the gold? When you watch snowboarders...