To make the most of your humor, your action verbs are what you want to be activating. Here are three that are essential:
Receive the Gift
The Holy Spirit is eager to give spiritual gifts for ministry to all who are prepared to receive. Our preparation is to ask to be cleansed and forgiven for our practice of hurtful humor so we may become worthy to receive the gift of spiritual humor. We gather week after week in a community of faith with others who are at various stages of “cleaning up their act” so they can receive the gift. The result is that in our church many have the growing realization of having received a spiritual gift. They will grow in understanding that just as God suffers when we suffer, when we laugh, God also laughs with us! That makes humor and laughter a Godly-thing, and we gladly receive it as a spiritual gift.
Claim the Gift
Do you see yourself as a stand-up comic? Most people don’t. Humor and comedy are not the same. You don’t have to act a certain way to claim the gift, just welcome the gift as something special for two people: you and the person you are sharing your humor with at any particular moment. There are some things you can learn about humor—some techniques for remembering stories, punch lines, etc. But these are not what is most important about it. Humor is a spiritual gift! That is the most important thing about it. Learn all you can about Humor, and covet it as a spiritual gift!
Activate the Gift (a few reminders)
- Humor is not a gift given just to you, or for you. Humor is properly valued only when it is given away.
- It is ironic that we activate the gift of humor by taking it seriously.
- Keep a sharp eye for funny things.
- Practice telling your “funnies” while standing before a mirror.
- Make notes of funny things that happen so they will not be fleeting (like dreams are when we don’t record them).
- Don’t ever treat your gift of humor casually. It is a special gift and it deserves to be activated frequently so it will be increasingly cultivated in you.
- When you get a funny idea (or turn of words) journal your immediate thoughts about it. (A piece of scrap paper will do.)
- Spend time rehearsing a funny story ’til you can nail it!
- Tell it to others and watch them light up with delight.
And now for a couple of funnies to brighten your day…
A newspaper ad about a riding stable for horses read:
We have all kinds of horses. . .
For short people we have short horses.
For tall people we have tall horses.
For skinny people we have skinny horses.
For fat people we have fat horses.
And for people who have never ridden horses . . .
We have horses that have never been ridden.
There was an elderly man who never had much to do with anybody in town. When the old recluse died, people couldn’t remember the last time someone had been welcome in his home. He was a packrat. He never threw away anything. There was clutter everywhere—inside and outside his house. While going through his things, someone found a paper bag stuffed full, and tightly bound with two rubber bands.
On the sack, he had written, “Strings too short to use.”