From our book, Possessing Joy.
There are many important disciplines to develop in life. It is the wise person who establishes regular non-negotiable “customs” like Daniel (see Daniel 6:10). The quality of our life is impacted greatly by the development of consistency in areas such as time with God, Bible reading, fellowship, positive declaration, thankfulness, etc.. If we proactively put these in our schedule, we will set ourselves up for success in our Christian life.
One non-negotiable custom that is often overlooked is the discipline of joy and laughter. “A merry heart is good like a medicine” (Proverbs 17:22). We’ve already acknowledged that “Dr. God” has given us a wonderful prescription for health and longevity. Now it is up to us to find a way to consistently make this happen in our lives (and not just wait for special moments to develop on their own).
Laughter clubs are appearing all over the world. (Do an Internet search on this and you will be amazed at what you find.) There are many people who participate in a laughter group one or more times a week. Even though we may not be able to join such a group, there are many ways we can increase joy and laughter. Here are some suggestions:
- Watch humorous, but clean, video presentations.
- Become a student of animals. They are funny.
- Get CD’s of people laughing uncontrollably.
- Create a regular joy prayer meeting where you laugh at the lies of the devil (Psalm 2:1-4).
- Find Holy Spirit “drinking buddies” (John 7:37-39) and have special times of intentionally stirring up joy, childlikeness and hilarity.
- Privately speak out lies of the devil and laugh.
- Always have a couple of good, clean jokes ready to share. Then laugh heartily at your own jokes, even if no one else is laughing.
- Look in the mirror and tell yourself this: Don’t take yourself so seriously. Then laugh.
- Spend time with people who like to laugh.
- Give expression to your “inner laugh.” Don’t just laugh on the inside.
- Laughter is like a muscle. If we have not laughed much in recent times, it may take a while to get strong in this area. Don’t be discouraged. Just set your compass toward increased chuckling, and the belly laughs will be waiting in the wings to erupt from you.
Declare: I have the discipline of joy and laughter. It is one of my non-negotiable customs and disciplines.