Thursday, Feb. 9
None of us like to be sad. As Christians we are supposed to be joyful. And when we are sad we often fake it and put on a mask of joy. There are legitimate times to be sad. Maybe it’s losing a loved one, or sharing a sorrow with someone who is going through a hard time. I recently went through a period of sadness just because I felt that I was not doing much as a disciple of Christ. So my sadness was mixed with a little guilt. Analyzing this, I realized that I had been meditating on the splendor of Christ. The more I did that, the sadder I got. John Piper came to my aid. He said “Sorrow is honoring to God.” The implication is that the more we recognize Christ’s magnificent glory, the more we recognize our sinful condition. The gap between his goodness and mine gets bigger and bigger, triggering sadness. What I was experiencing was “Godly sorrow.” If I’m not sorry for sin, it grieves God. The result was to weaken my self esteem, make me more humble, and motivate me to become more like Christ. And that’s good. At the same time, a greater awareness of my sinful nature enhanced my appreciation of the grace that comes with bowing down in awe and reverence before God. I am not condemned. I’m freed from bondage and absolved of all guilt. That’s where the joy comes in. And that’s good, too.