Frivolous and carefree or serious and somber, there is a time and a place for almost everything, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” (Eccl. 3:1) For every positive there is a negative, but are those values ones that we place upon ourselves when it comes to our service to Christ for the glory of God the only values in this area that we are to portray.
How many Christians do you know who are Christians some of the time, or maybe most of the time, a person who seems at one moment to be a willing servant of the Lord, but the next time you meet them they seem non-committed, almost frivolous, as it were. What seemed like a strong desire to serve yesterday, is not shown today, they seem as if they do not care either about themselves or the reaction from others when it comes to their walk with the Lord. They look at it as perhaps not worthless, but insignificant to the moment, to the life application, if you will, of the particular area that they are in at that juncture in their lives. In other words my friends, these individuals either seem to care enormously or not at all.
Which one of these statements sound like you; “Serving the Lord is serious business, never something that we should take any less than the most important way that a man can live his life every day of that life;” or “We should never take anything to seriously in our service to Christ, as long as we are available at anytime to His leading, and submissive to His will, we will be in good favor with Him.” We have known both of these individuals, and I believe that neither of these two paths are the correct one when they are adhered to only within the construct of a singular ideology.
“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.” (Prov. 3:13) Tell me my friends, who is happier, the man who is serious about his service to Christ, or the one who is frivolous, the individual that looks at every moment of his time here on earth as one that must never be wasted, every moment must count, or the other brother in Christ, who sees a carefree life, one completely lacking in any worries whatsoever as greater in his service, which man is happier? There are few who have found the happy medium, many seem to either stay on one or the other of these paths for the entirety of their life, the one who is always serious knows little respite from his tightly wound ways, and the other, the man who knows little to no care, the frivolous man, cannot seem to notice when seriousness is required. There is of course a time for both, a season for each of these paths.
Outside circumstances rarely dampen the way of either of these two types of Christians, one may smile more than the other when happy times arrive, the other knows somberness well when the trials appear, few have found the means to apply both at the same time in their lives. Serving Christ is serious business my friends, and serving Christ means a carefree life, it is time we learn to do both. This means that we must be able to modify our thought processes at a moment’s notice, that when the situation changes, we change with it, not of course in the character of our lives for Christ, but when it comes to the needs of others, when the situation demands action.
This may seem like an impossibility to some, to change our nature at the drop of a hat, if you will, to automatically modify our character when it is needed immediately and without hesitation. By doing so, our integrity is left intact, our foundation still rests firmly on the rock of our salvation, we have simply stood in a different place, we have been blessed to be able to be all things to all men. (1st Cor. 9:19-22) The man who can be all things to all men understands that all men are of value to the Lord, that he desires that none should perish, (2nd Peter 3:9) he can grieve or rejoice at a moments notice, and do so from his heart. There are times to be serious, and there are times to be frivolous, to stay in either one or the other will not enable us to be all to all men.
“All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.” (Prov. 15:15) The serious man can be of a merry heart just as much as the frivolous man can be somber, but neither know the fullness of the joy of the Lord, for they have set themselves on a singular path, as it were. There was a time not so long ago when nearly all of the preaching in the houses of the Lord was what was called “fire and brimstone” preaching, “hell and damnation” and the fear of the Lord, repent was the constant call, and in many cases, his love for them was expressed only in the fear of eternal separation from His love. We have gone the opposite way today, a complete 180 degree turn from those days, now all is love, the preaching of the cross has no reminder of the damnation that awaits those who will not turn from their sin.
Because of this, the serious minded individual is seen as too staunch, too committed and devoted to the things of God, not willing to bend to the will of the crowd, while the frivolous man is seen as one who has decided that no care in the world or in his faith is worthy of any real effort or thought, that what will happen is in the will of the Lord no matter what that occurrence is. The churches have fallen into this same trap, entertainment is seen as the merchandise that will sell, the sermons are most generally about the happiness that the Lord apparently wants all of his children to experience, suffering is a taboo subject, commitment is nothing more than showing up each Sunday.
The serious man will find little happiness in this world, the frivolous man will know little wisdom, the man who will seek to be all things to all men will know both, and will reap the rewards of a life well spent in service to the lord. The man who finds himself in great sorrow that day, and the one who is happier than he ever has been, will be able to modify that part of himself in a single moment, he will be able to “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.” (Rom. 12:15) The man who is serious constantly will find little pleasure in the company of those who are rejoicing in the Lord, and the one who spends his life in a constant frivolous, carefree attempt to never be serious will find no company in those who are serious.
Humans tend to be extreme in either one side or the other, and very rarely are their minds swayed, many times not even the facts presented will alter their perceptions, the truth will be hid from them in its totality. The well-balanced Christian is unprejudiced towards all others, he is both practical and whimsical at the same time, but above all, he is filled with love at all times, a wise discerning love that seeks only that Christ is glorified. Seriousness is knowing that the only way to salvation is through Jesus Christ, and being frivolous is knowing that the only way to salvation is through Jesus Christ, finding that balance my friends, will enable you to be all things to all men.