“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).

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A while back, my family and I visited the Jelly Belly Candy Co. factory in southern Wisconsin.

We took a tour on a tiny train and learned how jelly beans are made in a rainbow of colors.

Our tour guide—bless his heart—was a teenager who looked like he wanted to be anywhere but surrounded by little kids salivating over the free bag of jelly beans they were about to devour at the end of the ride.

As I sat listening to him give his memorized speech, I couldn’t help but laugh at the contrast between his blandness and the colorful backdrop behind him.

As a Christian, I’ve come across my fair share of crusty Christians.

Since joy is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, I believe we should exude that joy to those around us. Laughter is good medicine.

I’ve read a number of parenting books, and one thing I’ve read repeatedly is that laughter can cover a lot of the challenges of parenting. When there’s not a lot of laughter in the home, you can be assured that disciplinary issues will increase.

Mark Twain once said, “Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.”

Relationships need laughter to thrive.

That day at the Jelly Belly factory reminded me that if I say I’m a Christian, then those who know me best—family, friends, co-workers, those I interview, my small group and neighbors—should see that I’m enjoying the life God has given me.

There are lots of serious moments in life, lots of suffering, tasks to get done and important decisions to make. Those will never go away, and you can center your life on those things, but don’t let it squeeze out laughter and fun.

Philippians 2:14-15 says, “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.”

As Christians, we shine when instead of complaining, we exhibit a sense of vibrancy in the life that God has given us.

react

>When is the last time you had a good laugh?

>What makes you laugh?