Is mockery a healthy Christian pastime?

Confession time.

I stayed up until nearly 1:00am watching the Hallmark channel last night. I don’t know what the movie was called, but it was typical. Poor/forced/over-acting, unbelievable characters, uninspiring romance, and pointless drama—combined with Hallmark’s ability to make a 90-minute movie feel like a 190-minute movie. (Of course it didn’t help that for every 15 minutes of movie there was a twenty minute infomercial.)

I have always been blessed (or cursed?) with the ability to get caught up in even the most predictable and plotless of stories. If there are characters in the show and they experience anything at all, part of me is compelled to see it through to the resolution. Even if its stupid, I still ‘care’ what happens.

But that isn’t really why I was motivated to stay up so late last night. Actually I was just having a grand time despising the many weaknesses of the movie. I had my husband by my side (who was graciously tolerating the movie for me while enjoying the cuddle time) and there was so much to mock and poke fun at! But why, I wonder, is that so fun?

 

Image credit: Bill Gracey

I’ve noticed that some of my favorite times and memories are sharing long talks with loved ones that involve mockery, sarcasm, wit, and lots of laughter at the expense of things we find ridiculous. Now these talks are not so much about specific people. Sometimes they are sparked by a remark that someone made, but ultimately the issue is the philosophy, methodology, or perspective that led to a remark or behavior by an individual or a group.

I’m not coming from a place where I think I have it all figured out—or that I’m so much better. I laugh at myself too. And I don’t think it is a matter of belittling the ideas of others in order to feel better about myself. But I do sort of wonder what it is that I find so very merry about mockery?

Can that be healthy?

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2 thoughts on “Is mockery a healthy Christian pastime?”

  1. Laughter is very healthy. Recognizing the absurd is healthy. Demeaning people is not. Also: we need to be careful how remarks intended as humorous chiding are taken by the people who receive them. Humor is good, but not everyone has a sense of humor. In truth, I think people are often far too serious and solemn.

    1. Hi Craig. All very true.

      I think I probably am one of those people who typically takes things far too seriously. I might be described as being careful to a fault about how people are receiving me.
      For me that’s part of the appeal of ‘recognizing the absurd’ (I liked that choice of words) and laughing about it in the company of those I am comfortable enough with to say what I really think.

      I received some feedback on this with a biblical perspective–pretty interesting. I may write about it after I think on it a bit…

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