[Papercut Press] 2002-06-25 - Lighten Up

Philippians:2:9,10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

I don't advocate getting our theology from Pop music, so please don't take this the wrong way. There are times, in spite of themselves, when the world gets it right. There is a popular "catchy" tune currently out there by the musical artist Sheryl Crow. It has a line something to the extent of, "I want to soak up the sun, I want to tell everyone, to lighten up." That may not be an exact quote, but I am sure I got the gist of the rift. Frankly, I am not even sure I spelled her name right. Anyway, there are two truths in her phrase and I would like to hit on them today.

The lesser truth of the two is lighten up. I am all for truth and for knowing what you believe. I am all for convictions. I am all against imposing my world view on anyone or having someone else impose their would view on me. If you have a logical mind you will realize that even to write the last sentence is to do the very thing the sentence is trying to avoid. Oh well, let us not digress there. Do you realize that there are some topics that I have completely given up writing on in these devotionals? There are some topics that I just wont touch on because they generate so much hate e-mail that it simply is not worth it. I can't mention Baptism, what day we worship, spiritual gifts, rapture or millennium views, and lastly what version of the Bible I use. If I do mention these things the pain that I feel from the negative e-mail I get is just not worth it to me, so I don't.

Lighten up. As I said, I am all for having convictions and seeking to understand God's truth. However, let us not forget God's Holy Word, "For we know in part, and we speak in part; but when the perfect comes the partial will be done away," 1 Corinthians 13:9, 10. We simply can't know it all in this life. Our perfection awaits the day when we are fully clothed in the righteousness of Christ, in glory. Until then, we live in Christ's grace, and we ought to offer that grace, best as we are able, to those we differ with theologically. I'm all for debate, but I am for debate in the love of Christ, not anger.

But I said there were two important truths in the song. The second is really the key to the first. We need to soak up the Son. OK, I tweaked it a bit there (She says sun), but that really is the key. We need to soak up the Son, and I also want to tell that to everyone, just as Ms. Crow does. There is no denying the fact that we do get caught up in superfluous issues in the church. These side issues, to some extent, are important, but they can't compare to the importance of soaking up Jesus Christ and seeking to live according to the gospel and His will.

So it seems that Ms. Sheryl Crow got it right. I have no doubt that she would be appalled that her lyrics were being taken in this fashion, but more the fun, then, for me in doing it. We do need to lighten up, but yet still be men and women of conviction. And even more, we need to soak up the Son. In fact, I will go as far as to say that soaking up the Son will help you to lighten up because you will be resolute in your soul and walk with Christ, and thus, you wont need to force your beliefs down the throats of others.

Soli Deo Gloria,

[email tim] godrulestb@aol.com