God created us and the world with one thing in mind: a relationship with us where we can mutually enjoy time together spent in His beautiful and abundant creation. Humans were originally created to enjoy God and all the good things He created. Everything was going great until Adam and Eve brought sin into the world (Genesis 2-3). Now naked and afraid, the once-easy relationship with God was damaged.
Sin brought thorns that make delicious fruit more difficult to acquire. Sin filled the soft, pliable dirt with rocks, making it more difficult to grow grains and other crops. Sin brought pain into the process of bringing forth life. Sin is a barrier to the goodness of God and God Himself (Romans 6:23; Isaiah 59:2). This is because God is holy. Holiness and sin cannot reside in the same space.
If I stand in a closet with a flashlight, there is light. If the flashlight is turned off, there is darkness. Darkness and light cannot exist in the same space, and that is the same with holiness and sin.
As all Christians come to know in time, we cannot bring light into our own dark world. We can try to "be good," but all of us have the stain of sin on us (1 John 1:8; Ecclesiastes 7:20). Everyone sins and falls short of God's glory (Romans 3:23). Jesus was God's answer to restore the Light so we can once again have relationship with God the way He intended (John 1:9-13). Jesus is the Light. His sacrificial death cleaned you and me from the stain of sin. It gives us an eternal flashlight so we will never have to know darkness again.
Unfortunately, we carry our flashlights through a dark and broken world, in bodies that still carry our sinful nature that tries to derail us at every turn (Ephesians 4:22-24). As Christians, we live in a strange place: cleansed and forgiven of sin, restored as children of God, and redeemed by Jesus—yet still growing in the righteousness that will only be complete when Jesus returns to earth (1 Corinthians 15:52). So we navigate the darkness of this world with trepidation. We fall down, but God lifts us back up, and we learn to enjoy God and His world as if we had never sinned (or continue to sin). Very tricky.
Many Christians try to live a life that pleases God by doing everything they can to refrain from sinning. Never leaving home, living somber lives, basically trying to remove all temptations so they won't stumble into sin. But then they miss the joyful and abundant lives God intends for us to live. Others are too careless and live with total abandon, figuring they can simply seek forgiveness for their sinful choices later. This is perverting God's gift of grace. (See the book of Jude.)
The way to maintain a balance between a joyful life and one that is serious about faith is to seek God in all we do (Matthew 6:33; Isaiah 55:6-7). Get to know Him through Bible reading and study, worship, church attendance, and prayer. Grow in wonder and thankfulness for the abundance of gifts and life that God gives us. Appreciate that there is not one type of fruit but many! The closer we get to God, the closer we get to joy!
"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." —Psalm 16:11
During His ministry, Jesus attended weddings, dinners with friends, and had close friendships. He called James and John "Sons of Thunder!" Tell me that doesn't reveal a whimsical and fun side of Jesus, who appreciated his rowdy friends who probably kept everyone laughing! (See Mark 3!)
In all ways, we should mimic Jesus' life as much as possible! Jesus was serious when teaching about God. He was serious in prayer. He was serious when confronting sin. And Jesus also laughed. He enjoyed good food and good wine. He enjoyed speaking to and spending time with the people He came to save!
So, No! You do not have to be serious all the time. There are times that reverence, solemnity, and seriousness are proper, but there are many more times when open joy, love, and laughter closely resemble the life God intended for us from the beginning.
No, Christians do not have to be serious all the time. There are times that reverence, solemnity, and seriousness are proper, but there are many more times when open joy, love, and laughter closely resemble the life God intended for us from the beginning.
Rhonda is an author, wife, mother, and mentor. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in English and Religious studies. She loves studying God’s Word for truth and wisdom and uses it as a compass and roadmap for her own spiritual journey. Rhonda believes in sharing the Good News and the hope found in Biblical truths with others. She uses her writing and mentoring opportunities (often with a pinch of humor) to do just that.