Not laughing could be a sin…
Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” Psalm 126:2 NIV
A cheerful heart is good medicine… Proverbs 17:22 NLT
Recently, a friend sent me these funny quotes from a church bulletin: “Remember in prayer the many that are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say ‘Hello’ to someone who doesn’t care much about you.”
Pretty funny…but with enough truth to make you think. We who have been in a church community for a while may not realize that some people might be sick of the church. Do we have a reputation of only reporting gloom and doom? Are we convinced people are hard to love when it actually might be that we are the one hard to love? When our church community becomes nothing but a cozy bubble, we turn the church into nothing more than a suffocating place where we can complain and use our inside jokes on each other. That comfortable feeling can put up walls for newcomers and a message that says, “Don’t bother trying to break into our group.”
Christ’s community should always be reaching outward. We who have found a new life in Christ should become the most winsome of people. If we reoriented our attitudes and filled them with the Holy Spirit, we might be shocked at how many would like to hear our message. Who wouldn’t like to be around happy, joyful people who have a sense of humor? If we offer only deadly, dull, or harried, hyped-up communities of worship, we will be closing the door to those who are searching.
Today, let’s not take ourselves and our family so seriously. Chuckle when a teenager says something crazy. Tell a story on yourself. Show the world you are human and a Christian. Authenticity is how you show a newcomer the Lord’s joy is real. And, if you are struggling to connect to community, don’t despair. Throw back your head and laugh. That laughter will open doors to friendship and as an extra bonus, you’ll be healthier.
Taken from: Changing Zip Codes: Finding Community Wherever You're Transplanted published by Lighthouse Publisheing of the Carolinas.