This morning, a common phrase came to mind: “Don’t take life too seriously.”
I thought about it for a bit and found that I don’t agree with that statement. My conclusions after pondering over it a bit are as follows:
1. Take life seriously
Life is serious business indeed. We are constantly planting seeds in our thoughts, words, and actions that yield fruit that we have to consume, good or bad. We are constantly making choices and, as the cliché goes, our choices then make us. In other words, we have to face the consequences of our choices. Does any of this sound like fun and games to you?
We all have one life to live on this Earth after which we will face the One who gave us the life and give an account for what we did with the life He gave us. The person who has accepted the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for his sins and who does the will of God (who obeys Him) has no fear of the judgment of his soul. However, the disciple of Christ will have the things that he did (supposedly for the kingdom of God) judged for eternal rewards. This is serious business indeed.
Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,
(Hebrews 9:27 NIV)
The work of each [one] will become [plainly, openly] known (shown for what it is); for the day [of Christ] will disclose and declare it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test and critically appraise the character and worth of the work each person has done.
(1 Corinthians 3:13 AMPC)
The scriptures encourage us to make the best use of the time allotted us and it is God who determines the length of time He gives to each person. That implies to me that we should take life seriously and not fritter away our days in meaningless pursuits. Part of life is fun, no doubt, but we don’t live for the fun; we live for purpose – what God would have us do to contribute to the advancement of His kingdom. Life is serious business.
A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.
(Job 14:5 NIV)
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
(Psalm 90:12 NIV)
Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil.
(Ephesians 5:15-16 AMPC)
2. Take God seriously
One would imagine that this goes without saying but when we look around at the lives of those professing to be followers of Christ, it doesn’t look like we are taking God seriously. I think that if we really believed what His written word says of Him and of what He expects of us, we would have a lot more light shining in the darkness all around us. If we took God seriously, we would fear (deeply respect and stand in awe of) Him more.
There’s just one scripture that I will quote to give us some food for thought in case we’re being careless about our walk with God –
Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name? And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].
(Matthew 7:21-23 AMPC)
God is serious about every word He has spoken and that has been recorded for us to read. We must take Him very seriously.
3. Don’t take yourself too seriously
Now, here is the twist to it all. Our entire walk with God is all about Him.
– He created mankind out of His own volition, choosing to have a relationship with us (Genesis 1:26-27).
– He initiated salvation by sending Jesus to the Earth to die in our place, thus paying the price for our sins (Romans 5:8).
– Nobody can accept the gospel except the Father draws us to Himself (John 6:44).
– We can’t bear fruit for God on our own (John 15:4-5).
– We are only beloved vessels that God fills with Himself and works through to accomplish His purposes (2 Corinthians 4:7; Galatians 2:20)
– He gives us both the desire and the ability to carry out His will (Philippians 2:13).
This takes the pressure off us. Our responsibility is to be surrendered to God, allowing the Holy Spirit who lives in us have His way and we will find that He is working out the Father’s will in and through us.