And as he passed each window bar,
He shouted to the folks below,
“Doing all right so far…!”
How ridiculous! Yet there are preachers across the land that advocate a lot of feel-good religion without a call to commitment or even a call to reality. A preacher was telling a congregation that if they lived right, God would bless them with health, wealth, popularity, and happiness. Tell that to families who mourn the loss of their loved ones. Tell that to a family who loses their home in a fire. Tell that to one who works for years at a job and then gets laid off in a cut back.
Jesus Himself is described as “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). Jesus calls us to have a balance in life. He wants us to be real, not some kind of phony religious nuts who go around with fake, painted-on smiles. The difference between us and the world is not measured by our lack of problems, but rather by the presence of a constant Friend who helps us through them.
In contrast to those who never appear to have a sad moment, there are some who are under the misconception that to be truly humble, we have to put on a sad look and a sad disposition. Jesus specifically warned against trying to get people to feel sorry for us when we are fasting, giving, or praying (Matthew 6:1-18).
Neither is spirituality the same as feeling guilty all the time. We believe in the awesome power of the cross of Christ to receive remission of sins and inner healing. If we are truly forgiven, why should we mope around acting pathetic? If we have the promise of eternal life in Heaven, why should we live in worry, fear, or doubt?
The key to a fulfilling Christian life is to learn to live appropriately. We must be open and sensitive to the needs and the feelings of those around us. When one member of the Body is hurting, we should all feel the pain. When one member of the Body has cause to celebrate, we should all join in to enjoy the person’s success and blessing. In doing so, we draw closer and closer each day. We become stronger so that we can better endure our hardships, overcome our obstacles, and enjoy our fellowship even more deeply. (Roger Wright)
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).