ep. 66 | Humor with Holly Mackle and Caroline Saunders
On today’s episode of the Journeywomen podcast, I’m doing something I’ve never done in the history of Journeywomen. I’m chatting with two guests at once! Today we have the pleasure of hearing from Holly Mackle and Caroline Saunders on the topic of humor and the gospel! Y'all, there are some episodes of Journeywomen that stand out to me, simply because they feel like a pep talk from your high school soccer coach before a big game, or something along those lines. This episode is one that really struck my heart in ways that I hope I’ll remember for a really long time. In it, Holly, Caroline and I talked about everything from the Biblical backing for humor and how it relates to the gospel, to practical encouragement for those of us, like myself, who tend to take ourselves a liiiiiitttttle too seriously. So you’ll know them a little better, Holly is the curator for the mom humor collaboration entitled Same Here, Sisterfriend which Caroline also contributed to. They’re both hilarious and I can assure you that you’ll want to be best friends by the end of this conversation.
Can you tell us a little about who you are and what you do? How did you two meet?
Is being funny something that comes naturally to you guys?
What are the benefits of humor?
Where does it come from? What gives us the capacity to laugh?
What's the biblical backing for humor? How does it relate to the gospel?
What are some ways we can use being funny to set the scene/tone for welcoming others in as Christ has welcomed us?
What's your encouragement to those of us who tend to take ourselves too seriously?
On the flip-side, do you have any words of caution when it comes humor? When does humor become sinful?
If you could give an overarching goal of humor, what would it be?
What would it look like to be a joyful, holy, seriously-happy kind of God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated person so that, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth laughs?
THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST
What 3 resources would you recommend for someone who desires to grow in this area?
What are your 3 simple joys?
Who has had the greatest impact on your own journey with Jesus?
“We know that Proverbs 17:22 tells us a cheerful heart is good medicine. I think that laughter can be good medicine for shame.” -Caroline
“I call this the face plant gospel, when I fall on my face because I cannot control gravity and I apparently can’t control my own feet. But I can laugh and remind my soul that God controls the wind and the waves. Really God is never bigger to me than when I find myself outsmarted by stairs, yet remember that God somehow keeps the earth perfectly balanced on its axis. The difference between me and God is just comical and humbling and I’m just so glad that he is in charge and I’m not. A huge benefit to humor and how it relates to the gospel is I don’t have to be red faced and flustered about my face plant moments. I can laugh and be glad that God is the one running the show. Because, honestly, I would burn the whole thing down on accident.” -Caroline
“Humor goes back to remembering who is God and who isn’t, namely me. Because when I feel responsible, like it’s totally up to me, and I’ve got to be the one to take care of it - from that place so little seems funny.” -Holly
“She can laugh at the days to come. And her laughter demonstrates her awareness that she is not in control of the future. She surrenders the worry and hustle for the days ahead into the hands of God.” - Holly
“I do believe that laughter is delighted humility. It’s our joyful recognition that God is the future holder and the order maker so we can contentedly do what he’s put right in front of us and trust that he hems us in behind and before.” -Caroline
“I love that the Gospel is so relational. To me, the coolest part of the great commission is that we are being asked to share truth with those in our circles of influence. We are to share with those we are in an ongoing, active, consistent relationship. The gospel isn’t only meant to be shared from the pulpit in a super, formal kind of way. If we are to be relational gospel sharerers, it would be good to consider how we come across. Especially to the new friends that don’t know Jesus or aren’t walking with him personally. And personally, I want my speech to be salty and bright, a big huge dollop of hope. Hope for redemption in this life and ultimate hope in heaven in union with Christ and the endless delights that await us there.” -Holly
“Humor is a form of hospitality. It’s an open door saying ‘come on in. Stay a while’. So, I love using humor as an invitation for people to come in or even a sneaky little trick to draw people to himself.” -Caroline
“Reflect on the celebratory aspects of the gospel. There is so much to be celebrated in the gospel narrative and really anytime we have a renewed understanding of the scripture. For example, in the book of Nehemiah, right after the Israelites finish building the wall and as they open the word of God to read it and help the people understand it, the Israelites natural response was very serious: weeping and somberness. But Nehemiah said, ‘do not be grieved for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ And he and Ezra commanded them to stop being so serious and instead celebrate for the day was holy unto the Lord.” -Caroline
“The zinger is funny, but it’s not funny for long. It’s only staying power is in the shame it brings on another and the relational distance that it can put between two people. To me, real staying power in a joke comes from shared experience. That is the kind of humor that serves to bind, not divide.” -Holly
“God’s goodness and his word can elicit celebration and laughter, but our own sin should always provoke a somber response. So if we are being convicted of sin or see sin in our brothers and sisters, we should not use humor in an attempt to cover it or remove its pain. Only Jesus’ blood has the power to cover sin and remove its sting, and using anything else in that place is idolatry.” -Caroline
“I want to rescue myself and my friends out of the pain of our sin, so I offer humor. But that is not truly being a good friend. Because that sin separates us from fellowship with the Lord who is our true reason for celebration and laughter. We ought to do the serious work of repentance and experience authentic restoration so that we can get back to the party. And then, after we’ve stared our sin in the face and repented of it wholeheartedly, then it’s a good time for ice cream and celebration because God has rescued us.” -Caroline
HOLLY'S RESOURCES FOR HUMOR
Invite a couple of friends for a girl’s night (prep yourself with some pre jokes)
Laughing Faith Bible Study by Caroline Saunders
CAROLINE'S RESOURCES FOR HUMOR
Pay attention to people with the intention to delight in unique tendencies
Same Here, Sisterfriend: Mostly True Tales of Misadventures in Motherhood curated by Holly Mackle
Episode 45 on Rest with Abigail Dodds
CAROLINE'S SIMPLE JOYS
Sonic Happy Hour
Singing the Greatest Showman with her kids
HOLLY'S SIMPLE JOYS
When her kids try to use big words
Drinking Hot Tea (Irish Breakfast)
CONNECT WITH HOLLY
CONNECT WITH CAROLINE
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