I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog Humor, Inhibitions and Paying Attention

Humor diffuses potentially awkward moments and anger. Humor lightens up lives and can make us forget sadness and other negative emotions for a time. Laughter is often a healthy release. However, humor can also be used in hateful and negative ways.

Bullies use derogatory humor to cut someone they don’t like down emotionally. Cruel humor can leave scars that last a lifetime. This includes parents, teachers, or others who constantly call someone stupid, fat, slow, or any number of hurtful terms. The big deal today is to call anyone whose opinion you don’t like a racist—usually totally untrue.

Humor has an even more insidious result. Humor is used to lower our inhibitions, getting us to accept things that would otherwise horrify us. But if a situation can be put in a humorous context, we laugh, not realizing we are no longer seeing a situation for what it really is.

One TV series, using humor, has an 8-year-old boy seeing through an alien’s disguise. The alien seeks to murder this child and, though the child is saved, the humor context focuses on the humor not the horror of a main character seeking to murder a child.

What about comedians who make fun of their wives or husbands, make a joke about the overweight, Christians or other groups of people? Such humor tears down instead of lifting up. God calls us to a higher standard. Let’s use discernment in the humor we allow in our lives—walking away from humor that really isn’t humor at all, a humor that becomes a tool of evil rather than good. Even more, let’s take care of our own, so-called humor, doesn’t hurt the very ones we profess to love.

© 2022 Carolyn R Scheidies

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