THE comedy club I run in Worthing recently had a young improv group come and perform, and they gamely agreed to run a workshop before the gig.
It was a small but select bunch who turned up to take part, and we got all the more out of it because of that.
One of the first things they taught us was the importance in improvisation of “accepting and adding to” a situation.
It set me thinking about how well we accept other people.
And the fact that God accepts us – just as we are.
The second thing our improv tutors taught us was about the generosity of performing in a group.
“We go out on stage aiming to make each other look good”, they told us.
The intensity of improvised performance meant that their attitude had to be self-giving – preferring one another, setting one another up for the biggest laugh, making each other look good.
What a fantastic attitude for life.
If you and I woke up each day determined to take people at face value and make them look good, I wonder how it would change the way we act, and the things we say?
The Bible urges us to encourage one another, to build one another up and to put one another first. Easier said than done, of course, and it’s a daily battle but we never stop learning, and thankfully God never stops being willing to pick us up again after we’ve fallen over.
You only have to look at the motley crew of characters used by God throughout the Old Testament (murderers, adulterers, cowards, disobedient people, drunkards and even, once, a donkey).
Then take a look at those Jesus ministered with and through – thieves, prostitutes, publicans, lepers and beggars.
It’s not what happens to us that matters, it’s how we respond to it.
A lot of it we simply won’t understand.
Bad things happen to good people.
We live in a fallen world, where there is injustice and suffering, and Christians are no more immune to it than the rest of the world.
But we do have a God who says he will never leave us.
A God who accepts us as we are, and wants to change us into what we could be.
A God who came to serve and to make the ultimate sacrifice for us.
He wants us to look good – and to make others look to him.
And for those who read last week’s comment – just don’t blow in your dog’s face.
And remember the bins. Then you’ll be fine.
Russ Bravo is editor of Inspire magazine, runs Matt’s Comedy Club in Worthing and sometimes forgets to put the bins out