Monday, June 28, 2010

Philippians 4:8 on Humor: A Summary

Humor: The juxtaposition of two or more incongruous or unexpected elements

We’ve looked at humor through the lens of Philippians 4:8 during the past few weeks, and through that lens we’ve discovered how much humor is truly a gray area:

Most of us see humor as having a good reputation (admirable), and while it may not imitate reality directly, an element of reality must exist for us to find it funny, making it a great vehicle for truth (true). Likewise, we know God has a sense of humor and employed it on a number of occasions in Scripture and in the world He created (right).

But humor can be corrupted. While people and serious subjects may be treated with respect, it can also insult (noble). It can please or offend the senses and the heart (lovely). And depending on the type of humor, it could contaminate us if we ourselves employed it (pure).

The result? Humor both good and bad can be executed well (excellence), and whether it will glorify God (praiseworthy) depends on the type of humor, the manner it is presented, and the subject targeted by the humor.

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