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Anything for a laugh!

I've been doing one of the lessons in Beth Moore's study...Living Beyond Yourself, Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit. This week's study is on the fruit of self-control. Today (day 2 of the study) I read about the life of Sampson in comparison to the life of Daniel. Sampson was totally disrespectful of his calling from God. He indulged in unclean habits, a lustful lifestyle and he had an inappropriate sense of humor. He liked practical jokes and riddles, but they were always at the expense of others...always disrespectful of others.

One part of today's study talked about this...

Often we can observe an unspoken rule of thumb among Christians. "Inappropriate subjects are admissible as long as they are humorous." We can tell an off-color joke as long as it's funny. We can show disrespect for a person as long as people laugh."

Then the study asked the following questions...

Do you have an appropriate sense of humor?
Are you more likely to laugh at an off-color joke than one that is "clean"?
Do you talk to others about inappropriate subjects?
Is it often for a laugh?

Followed by this observation...

God loves laughter. His Word tells us in Proverbs 17:22 that "a cheerful heart is good medicine." but when it is at the expense of God's character, another's character, or our own character, the medicine becomes toxic. ...We must never compromise holiness for the sake of humor.

After reading this portion of the study this morning, I was embarrassed by comments I made in jest during a planning meeting at church last night. Comments that were disrespectful of another's character and spoken to get a laugh...although I didn't realize it at the time.

I had to write an email to those who attended the meeting (4 wonderful sisters in Christ) and ask their forgiveness.

Man, this self-discipline and spiritual growth stuff is hard! It hurts when God points out your sin, but I'm glad He does that so that we can clear the air between us and so that I can go on from that point - forgiven and clean.

If you have the opportunity to pick up this study by Beth Moore, I would encourage you to do so.

Anyway - I am going to be careful about coarse joking at the expense of anyone's dignity, character or reputation and about telling or laughing at off-color jokes, so PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE....if you know me and hear me being inappropriate or disrespectful for the sake of a laugh (or any other reason)...please stop me and remind me about this incident...okay????

Prayer:
Father, forgive me for the times I've disrespected another for the sake of a laugh and for the times when I've not only told off-colored jokes, but have laughed at them when others tell them. Making something funny does not excuse inappropriate topics. I pray that if I do that again, you will bring it to my attention immediately. I want to be self-controlled. I want to continue to grow so that my life might please you. And I want to honor you in everything I do. Amen

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(Copyright© 2011 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)

2 comments:

Joy said...

Ouch! I have been asking the Lord to develop the fruit of self-control in me lately, too. But you hit home. I need to really discipline myself a bit more closely.
Thanks for the reminder, Girlfriend!

Jan Christiansen said...

Yep, it's an ouch, but it's one that hurts so good. Self-control brings freedom from those things that would keep us in bondage.

""Everything is permissible for me"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"--but I will not be mastered by anything." 1 Corinthians 6:12

I don't have to be mastered by my appetites, my procrastination, which keeps me from doing the things I know I should be doing or my flesh, which encourages me to do only that which is fun.

FREEDOM!