Having a relationship with God in this life is an extraordinary thing. It changes how we see the world and see ourselves. Comedian Michael Ray Kingsbury had this life-changing revelation recently.
Michael is a self-described “Comedic Storyteller” from Vermont. If you asked him about his perspective on religion, he would reply that he was a comedian first and an atheist second.
“For the longest time, comedy was my religion,” Michael admitted.
Even though he grew up in a Methodist church, Michael never really encountered the love of Jesus. In his eyes, he believed that all that mattered was being a ‘good person’. He did try getting into scripture but got stuck on Matthew 10:27 which says, “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me.”
“I would close the book and walk away. The truth is, I was uneasy with the concept of making God the most important thing in my life—more important than your spouse, your child, your dog, or your Xbox. That type of thinking was anathema to me. I was quite clear on my goal in life: I wanted to be a comedian,” Michael shared.
When Michael achieved a remarkable breakthrough in his career, he assumed that professional success would bring complete satisfaction in his life… but the exact opposite happened:
“No performance or piece of writing lived up to the standards I had set,” Michael confessed.
His life began to shift when his friend – a fellow comedian – died. He organized a comedy show to commemorate the life of his friend, but the moment he went on stage, he drew a blank when he tried to say something meaningful for his friend.
“That night, I realized that it’s possible to “know” someone without knowing anything significant. I had no idea whether he believed in God or had ever wondered what happens after we die. It bothered me that it never would have crossed my mind to ask those questions. And it bothered me that comedy didn’t seem to have any answers,” Michael recalled.
That’s when he started reading the bible and attending church. He noticed subtle changes in his behavior and outlook in life. Even his playlist unexpectedly shifted from heavy metal music to Hillsong Worship.
“… I was parked in a shopping plaza when I decided to try looking at things from a Christian perspective: ‘If there is a God, and He is all-knowing and all-loving, then He would know everything about me, and I would find ultimate satisfaction in Him. And that relationship would affect all the relationships in my life in a positive way.” And so Michael found he could no longer deny the existence of God, nor could he deny that God had been pursuing his heart.
So Michael became a Christian. Before, he was terrified that putting God first will kill his sense of humor, but now, he delights in bringing glory to God in everything that he does, including comedy.
Michael’s life is a living testimony that the God we believe in isn’t a stoic kill-joy, but a joyful Father. If we are made in His image then surely God loves to laugh!