Note from Randy: One of the things I love about working with the team at Eternal Perspective Ministries is how wise and biblically-based their answers are to the many questions people ask.
In the early days of the ministry I answered nearly all the questions myself, but as time went on I called on our staff members to do more and more of it. I am always struck by the balance of grace and truth in their responses. They genuinely care about people, and they know that God’s Word is the key to really answering their questions. Since people are usually asking their questions of me, our staff tries to quote things I’ve said in books or articles. They do such a great job in their answers, including many things that are directly from them and not me, that I have no doubt people are getting better answers than they would have if the responses were just from me.
We often post those questions and answers on our website, not using people’s names so as to not violate confidentiality. Occasionally we use them in a blog. Someone asked a great question and Stephanie Anderson’s answer was right on target. Hope you enjoy this.
Hello! I really enjoy the articles you write! I'm a college freshman and find them very relevant and encouraging in my walk with Jesus. I had a question and was curious as to your opinion on it (I did read an article you had regarding this topic!) I have a pretty outgoing personality and sense of humor, and have kind of subconsciously felt for awhile that Jesus is displeased with me and my/in general humor, laughter, being goofy etc. I think I have this image of Him as being very serious and strict, even though He must have had a pretty magnetic personality to draw so many people to Him, the little children, etc. I was just wondering what your thoughts on it are?
This is Stephanie with Eternal Perspective Ministries, and I help Randy with his messages. I love that you are thinking about this! It also makes me smile because if you were to hang out with Randy in person, you would find out that while he is very serious about his relationship with Jesus, he is also quick to smile and laugh and joke. It sounds like a sense of humor is also a God-given part of your personality—and that is great! It is a gift from Jesus, the source of all laughter and joy.
I love what you shared about Jesus having a magnetic personality that drew children. Randy would absolutely agree with you on that. He says in Happiness,
When I wrote my first graphic novel, Eternity, I had to decide how I wanted the artist to portray Jesus’ face in a typical scene. Having read the Gospels many times and known Jesus for forty years, I knew his default look should be one of happiness. Yes, I asked the artist to portray him as angry when facing off with the Pharisees and sad when heading to the cross. But the man who held children in his arms, healed people, fed the multitudes, and made wine at a wedding was, more often than not, happy! If we picture Jesus walking around in perpetual sadness or anger, grumbling and looking to condemn rather than to extend grace, we’re not seeing the Jesus revealed in the Bible.
Randy has a chapter in Happiness about the humor of Jesus, and it’s one of my favorite chapters in the book. It has given me a fuller picture of Jesus and His personality, and helped me gain a deeper appreciation for Christ’s teachings in the Gospels. You can read an abridged version of that chapter here. If we understand that Jesus Himself has a wonderful sense of humor (and the best laugh in the universe), it frees us up to enjoy God-honoring laughter and joking and fun without feeling guilty or like we’re not being “pious.”
Of course, there is sinful and crude humor that is dishonoring to the Lord, but humor can also be honoring to Him. We can test whether it glorifies Him by measuring it against Scripture:
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).
“Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving” (Ephesians 5:4).
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).
You mentioned being goofy—there is a time to be serious, and a time when laughing and even being goofy are appropriate (Ecclesiastes 3:4). Both are part of the human experience and reflect that we are made in God’s image since He has emotions. I think that as you are walking with Jesus, and growing in your knowledge of Him as you study His Word, He'll make you sensitive to when each is appropriate and how you can honor Him in every time of life.
And being outgoing certainly can be a wonderful strength, and it sounds like it’s the way Jesus made you. I’m not as outgoing myself, but my husband and youngest daughter are, and I love seeing that aspect of their personalities! He is the God of variety and has given us all different strengths and personalities that can glorify Him.
Remember that if you’ve accepted Jesus as your Savior, God is well pleased with you, as He is well pleased with His Son. He made and formed you and designed you to glorify Himself. God “takes pleasure” in those who fear Him and hope in His mercy (Psalm 147:11, NKJV). Zephaniah 3:17 is another beautiful passage, talking about God's delight in His children: “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”
Randy writes, “This is profound on every level. God is with us and is mighty to save—great words, but words often expressed in Scripture, more familiar to us. What is remarkable here is that this great God who created the universe ‘will take great delight in you.’ GOD take delight in ME? God take GREAT delight in me? You must be kidding. No. This is God’s Word. No kidding.”
Here are some more related articles from Randy you might like to check out:
Hope this helps. God bless you as you follow Him!
Oh my goodness, thank you SO much!!! I needed to hear this more than you know. Thank you thank you thank you! Made me tear up. I truly appreciate your encouraging words, this has been SO helpful for me. Thank you!
Stephanie Anderson is the communications and graphics specialist at Eternal Perspective Ministries.