Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Not To Be Thought of Lightly

I’ve got something I’ve been thinking about for the past several days. I have a lot that needs to be done this morning around the house, but I also have a need to get my thoughts out, so let me think out loud a bit here, then go do all the things that need doing.

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about my own temperament. I’ve been told most of my life that I take things too seriously and I need to lighten up. And this is true about some things. As I’ve grown and matured, I’ve learned so much about just enjoying being with people and laughing, and I love to do that. My husband has helped me so much in this area. In fact, he’s always telling me to “Lighten up, Beck,” about things that aren’t all that serious. A part of that is that I’m learning to try to see where other people are coming from and not take myself too seriously. I tend to have a fairly thin skin when it comes to criticism, and that has sometimes hindered my ability to recognize when someone is just kidding. When I was a teenager, there was a group of kids in our church youth group who had very sharp, sarcastic ways of communicating and teasing each other. It didn’t take long before the teasing really started to hurt, for that was the dominant way this group spoke – not much love behind the teasing was evident. I think I’ve gotten a lot more relaxed in this area as I’ve gotten older, though, but I still try to be very careful what kinds of teasing I allow to go on in my home. I remember how badly some comments can hurt – even when meant totally in jest – because a sensitive heart will still wonder if there is truth behind the tease.

With all that said, there are things that I believe it is impossible to be too serious about. I was listening to a favorite CD of mine from Selah, “Greatest Hymns,” and there is a very moving arrangement of “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” that I absolutely love to listen to. I know some posts I’ve written have been quite serious about the error that creeps in when we aren't serious about the authority of Scripture and follow after our own opinions or feelings, but this is one area that it really is impossible to be too serious about. When people tell me to lighten up in the area of popular fads in Christianity, sin, repentance and the truth of the Word of God, I am passionate about the fact that these are not laughing matters or matters that should be taken lightly. Read the words of this hymn and then see if our sin is something that God would take lightly. No way. It is of such a serious nature that Jesus came down to earth from the glory He had from all eternity with the Father (John 1:1-16), was born as a baby in human flesh, lived absolutely and completely righteously among our filth and wretchedness, and submitted to the humiliation of death on a cruel cross at the hands of us vile sinners, suffered the wrath that our sin deserved when the Father turned His face from our sin that was laid on Him, and died, was buried and rose again. That is how seriously God takes our sin. Our sin is worthy of death and wrath and eternal separation from God in hell. But by His matchless, infinite grace He took our place and rose victorious over death. By grace through faith Christ's righteousness is imputed to me. The gift of grace is absolutely amazing. If we honestly begin to grasp the depth of God’s love for us in providing a Savior for such total wretches, it is sobering, to say the least. No, it is not possible to be too serious about that.

O Sacred Head, Now Wounded

O sacred Head, now wounded,
With grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded
With thorns, Thine only crown;
How pale Thou art with anguish,
With sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish
Which once was bright as morn!

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered
Was all for sinners’ gain:
Mine, mine was the transgression,
But Thine the deadly pain;
Lo, here I fall, my Saviour!
‘Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor,
Vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

What language shall I borrow
To thank Thee, dearest Friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow,
Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever,
And should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never
Outlive my love to Thee.


Rabbit said...

My friend and I sat in her car after Bible study last week listening to this very song, moved to the core. There is no way to "lighten up" about what Our Lord endured for us.

Diane said...

That is a powerful song, one that has me almost in tears. I've been wanting to get that CD, and this might be a good time.

I was thinking about sin this morning, and how lightly we as Christians take it at times. I had looked up Hebrews 4:12:

Hebrews 4:12 the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

But then I read the next verse, which I had not planned on doing. Here is what that verse says:

Hebrews 4:13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

What a sobering verse that is. We all know that God is omniscient, but this verse hit me hard this morning. If we remembered, and truly believed, that He sees everything we do, and that it's all laid out bare before Him, what a difference that would make in our lives.

Kim said...

Amen! I agree with this. There are things that are just serious! Our sinfulness being up there pretty high in the ranks!

I'm a lot like you! I tend to be very intense and serious minded. I'm the type that when someone comes up to say something really witty and funny to me...I have no comeback at all. I just smile and then go analyze what they said! Weird,I know! I have great communication skills when it comes to things of a more serious nature,but throw witty and funny in there and I have no clue! When I try to be funny at times,I end up apologizing later to whoever I was poking fun at or joking with...thinking it may have hurt their feelings!

God's grace is making me more serious about the serious things,which is a good thing...and learning to have fun a little,too! : )


Anonymous said...

I confess that I'm a two-sided coin. When I was younger I was very cavalier, taking almost nothing seriously. But, when I reached 30 and began studying God's Word for myself I embraced the passion of being serious about those things which God spoke. I don't think we can be too serious about things that are eternal.

Great post my Friend!

Lisa writes... said...

Serious...intense...overly analytical of nearly everything...that's me too! I often wish I were witty and funny, but certainly never cavalier with the things of God. Rejoicing in our God does not mean a careless disregard for His holiness, our sin, and the solemn and serious regard of both.

Sandy said...

I love that CD, and I love that song. It's always been one of my favorites. Powerful lyrics.
Thank you for the post!