Ha! There should be some kind of ban on me writing blog series’. It really seems to put me off writing.
Question: Out of 10 how important is it to not take yourself too seriously?
Good question. (- even if it feels a little clunky worded). I asked it to my colleagues. There was a general consensus that we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously.
Question: Out of 10 how seriously do you take yourself?
Again, good question. And again, we reached a consensus – much more seriously than we think we should.
It’s a pretty grim fact that we’re all prone to take ourselves much more seriously than we likely deserve. It’s also true that we probably owe ourselves a lot more respect than we dish out for ourselves. So there’s a balance – I guess. On the one hand we want to be able to laugh at ourselves and “enjoy life”. On the other, we want to be able to stand for something. Otherwise: “we’ll fall for anything” (Someone wise like Churchill can get the credit for that one).
And if we don’t take ourselves seriously, people probably won’t take our passion seriously.
How seriously did Jesus take Himself? Good question, didn’t ask my colleagues that.
The reason’s for this seriousness dilemma is probably self-explanatory. A concoction of pride and insecurity, a mix of self-confidence and self-doubt. Sin. Society, Circumstances, etc etc.
But I confess I think about it a bit. I can’t decide if I’ve reached the “sweet spot” on the spectrum or if I’ve just got it mixed up. Doubtless different occasions call for different ‘self-seriousness’ gauges. A solemn prayer meeting, might not be the right time to start giggling cause you’ve just thought about a joke. But I did:
“Lord, I was just thinking, earlier today, as I walked towards the sheep and they ran away from me…” It just had me set off like I was at a Peter Kay gig. We Christian’s are so weird. Of course the sheep is going to run from you. And the image of my friend wandering out, arms wide, chasing sheep for a hug – really did keep me laughing.
I’ve also started applauding in Church. (Like a Pentecostal congregant.) Whenever someone in the audience gets the slightest bit of rowdy. I like to add to whatever commotion is going on. The other day, I applauded when the speaker talked about wanting to ‘knock Zaccheus to the ground for being so sinful’….Before realising he was referring to the pharisees’ mindset – Not Jesus’. Safe to say I was the only one clapping.
Anyway. I’m a big believer in happy Christians. Why have we got to be so serious? I know the Gospel is weighty business and Souls are at stake and woe and woe to all who speak well of you. But I think it’s also good news. And I wonder sometimes, if people come into Church and we’re all serious about the worship and all serious about the talk, and all serious about the prayers, people might look elsewhere for fun.
Can the Gospel be fun? Can it liberate people from the stiff-necked pride which stifles laughter? Can it? Can the Gospel allow for accepting someone who gets the giggles in a prayer meeting? Can a relationship with God be made up of fun times?
Tension is key. I know. Like thingers and fumbs. But maybe we need to exercise our pinkies a bit more.