I like a good, clean joke, and I love to hear any of my grandsons tell me a good knock-knock joke. I have been known to tell a joke or two; but more often than not, my blonde roots show, and I need to have the jokes explained to me by my husband or one of my sons…and even then it may take me a day or two to “get“ them. After all, doesn’t Proverbs 17:22 state: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones”? I will take the merry heart over broken spirit any day! With that being said, the Proverbs writer also states in Proverbs 10:10 “He who winks the eye causes trouble, and a babbling fool will be ruined.”
Like many of you, I receive many jokes on a daily basis via the internet. A lot of the time I will get the same joke from several people. For example, someone will send a joke to all the people in their friend list, many of whom I know, and sometimes those people will send it to all the people in their friend list, etc., etc., etc…with the result being that I get the same joke over and over and over. Most of the time, I just hit the delete button; but I have noticed that lately, many of the “jokes” that people send me are…well, really not very funny. In fact, they are downright offensive. I am not talking about the innocent jokes. I am talking about the jokes that are poking “fun” at the expense of the elected officials of our nation. I did not like these jokes four years ago, or even 12 years ago.
We, as God’s children, need to remember two things:
1) We are to be shining examples of God’s love and not a stumbling block. Romans 14:13 says: “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this–not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.”
2) That God is in control and, yes, that means that when your not-particularly-favorite candidate gets elected into office, he or she was allowed to be placed there by God. The Old Testament is there for our learning and example…so let’s learn by what is said in Daniel 2:20-22: “Daniel said, Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding. It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him.”
While not repeated word for word in the New Testament, the concept remains the same in 1 Peter 2:12-15 “Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.”
And again in Titus 3:1-2 “Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.”
When I look around the world today, I can see a lot of reasons to be discouraged, a lot of reasons to have a broken spirit. When I look around our congregation today, I see a lot of reasons to have a merry heart and a smile on my face. Programs being started, youth helping both those younger and older than themselves, the sweet voices of two four-year-olds learning to sing their praises to God, brothers and sisters in Christ wanting to be with each other just because they bring a smile to each other’s life. Let’s continue to be the reason for merry hearts and remember to not be the reason for any broken spirits.
By Debbie Brown
Debbie Brown and her husband DC have been proudly serving with the Pearland Church of Christ in Pearland Texas since 1998. Her husband is the current pulpit minister and evangelist, and happily serves on the FACE (French African Christian Education) board. Debbie is an office manager at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, but, more importantly is mom to 2 sons and Ninnie to 4 wonderful and energetic blessings in the form of grandsons. Debbie and DC attended BVBID from 1988 to 1991.