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Laugh! It's Good For You!

A Charles Dickens Devotional 9781400319541

Genesis 21:6

He will yet fill your mouth with laughing, and your lips with rejoicing. — Job 8:21

It was a great surprise to Scrooge… to hear a hearty laugh. It was a much greater surprise to Scrooge to recognise it as his own nephew’s and to find himself in a bright, dry, gleaming room, with the Spirit standing smiling by his side, and looking at that same nephew with approving affability!

“Ha, ha!” laughed Scrooge’s nephew. “Ha, ha, ha!”

If you should happen, by any unlikely chance, to know a man more blest in a laugh than Scrooge’s nephew, all I can say is, I should like to know him too. Introduce him to me, and I’ll cultivate his acquaintance. It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour. When Scrooge’s nephew laughed in this way: holding his sides, rolling his head, and twisting his face into the most extravagant contortions: Scrooge’s niece, by marriage, laughed as heartily as he. And their assembled friends being not a bit behindhand, roared out lustily.

“Ha, ha! Ha, ha, ha, ha!”

“He said that Christmas was a humbug, as I live!” cried Scrooge’s nephew. “He believed it too!.. He’s a comical old fellow… that’s the truth: and not so pleasant as he might be. However, his offences carry their own punishment, and I have nothing to say against him.”

—A Christmas Carol

In his article “The Winsome Witness,” Charles Swindoll calls laughter “the most beautiful and beneficial therapy God ever granted humanity.”

Dickens also saw the benefits of laughter. He often used irony and satire to make his readers laugh. In this scene from A Christmas Carol, we see the contrast between Scrooge, a grumpy, anything-but-merry old man, and his young, fun-loving nephew. Laughter was a foreign concept to Ebenezer Scrooge. He saw no value in being merry, just as he saw no value in people celebrating Christmastime.

Yet the Bible is filled with stories of rejoicing and celebration. One example is when Sarah gave birth to her son — when she was a very old woman. It was such an unbelievable miracle that Sarah laughed with joy. She said,

“God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.” — Genesis 21:6

God’s own sense of humor is apparent in the story of Balaam and the talking donkey (Numbers 22). Imagine the man, Balaam, beating his poor donkey, when she opens her mouth and says, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me?” (Numbers 22:28). Surely, God must have laughed at Balaam’s shock and surprise when his animal spoke to him.

Proverbs 17:22 reminds us, A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

So remember to laugh, long and often. It’s good for you!

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Your Turn

Make a point to laugh today! Pay attention to how often you let out a great, big belly laugh. No matter what your circumstances are, find the funny and laugh — even if it’s at yourself! Join the conversation on our blog! We’d love to hear about how you brought laughter into your day! ~ Devotionals Daily