I will see the humor in a potentially negative situation and will not take the things that happen today too seriously.

Posted on 6+000011. Filed under: 20/20 Vision: Changing Your Life by Changing the Way You See Things, Books by Bishop Jim Swilley, Laughter, Peptide neurotransmitters, Self-esteem | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

laughing_faceLaughter puts things in perspective.  Having a sense of humor about the events that occur in your life every day really helps you to see things more clearly.  James Thurber said: “Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility.”  Mark Twain said. “Humor is the great thing, the saving thing.  The minute it crops up, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.”  Mel Brooks stated that “Humor is just another defense against the universe,” while Groucho Marx said that “Humor is reason gone mad.”  The common thread in every attempted definition of humor is that it shapes and reshapes perspective and defines perception.


We certainly know that humor, especially as it is released in laughter, is something that possesses healing properties for the mind and for the physical body.  ‘A happy heart is a good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones” (Proverb 17:22 – AMP).  Some studies have shown that a good, hearty laugh can be as restorative to the body as a full eight hours of quality sleep and can significantly boost your immune system.  Some have even testified that they were literally cured of diseases through daily, extended periods of laughter via exposure to humorous material, and there is a good bit of scientific evidence to back up their claims.



“We all operate in two contrasting modes, which might be called open and closed.  The open mode is more relaxed, more receptive, more exploratory, more democratic, more playful and more humorous.  The closed mode is the tighter, more rigid, more hierarchical, more tunnel-visioned.  Most people, unfortunately, spend most of their time in the closed mode.  Not that the closed mode cannot be helpful.  If you are leaping a ravine, the moment of takeoff is a bad time for considering alternative strategies.  When you charge the enemy machine-gun post, don’t waste time trying to see the funny side of it.  Do it in the “closed” mode.  But the moment the action is over, try to return to the “open” mode – to open your mind again to all the feedback from our action that enables us to tell whether the action has been successful, or whether further action is needed to improve on what we have done.  In other words, we must return to the open mode, because in that mode we are the most aware, most receptive, most creative, and therefore at our most intelligent.”

– John Cleese


Laughter does release certain peptide neurotransmitters in the brain called endorphins that have very effective pain-relieving properties, but the most important function of a sense of humor involves mental perception.  A sense of humor has the ability to make you take a second look at a situation, especially a negative one, and see it in a completely different light.  By being able to laugh at yourself, you actually can increase self-esteem, boost your sense of self-worth, and bring the inner image of yourself into proper balance.  Laughter keeps us in the open mode where we are able to see ourselves and the world around us in a more positive light and not be weighed down by our perceived troubles.


Because the Bible has been so misunderstood and misinterpreted, most of its readers don’t realize that when Jesus used phrases like “you strain at gnats and swallow camels” or “don’t try to get a splinter out of your brother’s eye when you have a 2×4 in your own eye,” He was actually using absurdist humor to get His point across.  These concepts may not get a chuckle out of our jaded, modern, western sensibilities, but you can be assured that when He originally said them His audiences responded with laughter.  Don’t take everything so seriously and you’ll be able to better hear these and other spiritual concepts.  You can change you life by changing the way you see things.



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5 Responses to “I will see the humor in a potentially negative situation and will not take the things that happen today too seriously.”

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Already said this, but syncronicity and God doubling or tripling His messages is so cool!

annnnd…this must be for me…kool,I love it!

“Funny” that I would read this article this morning. Janet (my wife) and I started the day off this morning remembering things that were funny. Ended up laughing our heads off and having a great morning. Now I just feel better than usual


It is habitual for me to start my morning off feeling well and things that make me laugh, well they are golden to that moment. It seems to be one of the more positive genetic traits inherited from my Dad’s side of the family. Sometimes all that I need is to conjure a memory of him laughing and it immediately provokes the same from me.

Bishop, you are already thought of in that same context, as far as provoking thoughts of well being in relation to your humor. Thanks for being a great spiritual Dad figure for most of CITN.


Cool. Her Majesty called me Thursday morning shortly after I had gotten to work and informed me of a serious situation that was occurring at home. I had to leave work and come home to deal with it.
A year ago I would have been devastated by what happened, but I realized that it was only a small speck in the big picture and something that would be in the history books in no time at all.
When my daughter heard about the situation she was frantic and wanted to know what I was going to do.
I told her that I was going to keep on living just like nothing had ever happened.
Her Majesty later asked me if I thought this might be part of our transition (StreamingFaith article) process. I told her I felt pretty sure that it was.
Thanks for your teaching Bishop which has helped me believe in the real God. If it had not been for your teaching, I would be standing up in church this Sunday morning and whining about how the devil had attacked me this week.

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