The acronym LOL—laugh out loud—is a popular expression in our world today. But would it surprise you to learn that the Bible actually has a lot to say about laughter and happiness?
Proverbs 14 tells us, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. Even in laughter the heart may sorrow, and the end of mirth may be grief" (vv. 12-13). I want to share with you three discoveries about the human condition from these verses:
1. Your God knows you well. Notice the words laughter, sorrow, mirth, and grief in verse 13. From highs to lows, the Bible acknowledges the full range of human emotions and has something to say about them. After all, God is the one who gave you a wide range of emotions to correspond with the wide range of human experiences. He made you an emotional being, and He knows you well. He's concerned about the things that concern you (see Psalm 56:8; 138:8). That's a liberating truth.
2. Your face is not reliable. You can cover up a lot with a facial expression. As verse 13 says in the New Living Translation, "Laughter can conceal a heavy heart." That doesn't mean you shouldn't smile or laugh; we have enough grumpy people in this world as it is.
But I believe we all need a person or a group of people with whom we can be honest and share our true feelings without the fear of being judged. So find some people who understand and who will work through issues with you.
3. Your beginning may not be your end. The idea of this passage in Proverbs 14 is that the path you choose may end in death; the party you go to may end in grief. The word end is key. Most of us don't think much about the consequences or ends of things. But you ought to stop and think about where a road is leading you, because it may not be to a good place.
The worst end and saddest grief would be to spend eternity in hell, separated from God. And yet that is exactly the end that people don't think about or deal with.
Jesus said, "Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:13-14). Where does the road you're walking down lead?
"The end of mirth may be grief"—but it doesn't have to be. When you trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins and eternal life, He can take that term LOL and infuse it with new meaning—not laugh out loud, but live on lastingly, starting now with a true joy that's deeper and more steadfast than happiness.