Helmut Thielicke described Spurgeon’s humour as “Easter laughter,” that which comes as a “mode of redemption because it is sanctified – because it grows out of an overcoming of the world.” (See Mohler, He is Not Silent, p165.)
We recently enjoyed a CD of Chuck Swindoll funny stories. Some were funnier than others, but his laughter was a real blessing to us all. As he stated on that CD, one person wrote in and told him, “Chuck, you can stop preaching, but never stop laughing. Your’s is the only laughter that ever comes into our home.”
A leader that frets and stresses under pressure is not a leader that followers will find reassuring. There is a need for a certain calmness that comes from confident faith in God’s purposes. Likewise, there is a benefit in a certain laughter. Not drunken laughter. Not distracting myself from reality laughter. Not immature laughter. But confident in God, all is in control, Easter laughter.
Don’t force it, but don’t be afraid of it either. Appropriate humor and laughter in a message may be more than therapy for listeners – it may be the conveying of a deep personal faith conviction.