By Contributing Writer, Jennifer Ross
How often do we contemplate silliness? Not just in the lives of our children, but in our own lives as well? Is there a place for being silly in the life of a Christian lady? One who professes godliness?
What does the Bible say?
- 1 Peter 1:13 “…be sober…”
- 1 Peter 4:7 “…be sober (NKJV “serious”) and watching in prayer.”
- 1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober and watch…” (The footnote on this verse in the Geneva Bible states: “The cruelty of Satan, who seeks by all means to devour us, is overcome by watchfulness and faith.”)
- Titus 2:12 “…live soberly and righteously and godly in this present world.”
My younger children have a propensity towards silliness. Ahem… okay, *I* have a propensity towards silliness. My husband and I discussed this, which in turn led me to a word study that I would like to share with you here.
I begin with the word “goofy,” (which, of course leads to studying other synonyms).
- GOOFY: Stupid or silly
- STUPID: Lacking normal intelligence, foolish
- SILLY: Having or showing little sense or judgement, foolish. Frivolous, trivial
- TRIVIAL: Of little value or importance, trifle.
- FOOLISH: Without good sense, silly, unwise.
Dead flies cause to stink and putrefy the perfumers ointment, so does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor. Ecclesiastes 10:1
Gasp! Just a “little” folly causes one commonly respected for wisdom and honor to be defiled!!
- FOOL: 1) A silly person. 3) To joke.
- FOLLY: Foolishness
Proverbs 14:7 “Go from the presence of a foolish man.”
- UNWISE: Not wise, foolish, imprudent. Ephesians 5:17 says “be not unwise…”
- WISE: Having or showing good judgement, informed, learned. Ephesians 5:15 “…ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise…”
- IMPRUDENT: Not prudent, indiscreet.
- PRUDENT: Exercising sound judgement in practical matters, cautious in conduct, sensible.
The older women are to teach the younger women “to be discreet…” (Titus 2:5) Proverbs 2:11 “Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.” Proverbs 19:14 says “A prudent wife is from the Lord”
But… all uncleanness… let it not be once named among you, as it becometh saints, neither… foolish talking, neither jesting, which things are not comely, but rather giving of thanks. Ephesians 5:4
- JEST: Joke or humorous remark, mere fun, joking. Something to be laughed at or joked about. To be playful in speech and actions, joke.
- JOKE: Anything said or done to arouse laughter. A thing done or said merely in fun.
…the elder men be grave, temperate... elder women likewise…. that they teach the young women to be sober minded… exhort young men likewise that they be sober minded… that they may have nothing concerning you to speak evil of. Titus 2:2-6
- SOBER: Temperate, serious, solemn
- SERIOUS: Grave, sober. Not joking (!!) or trifling. Concerned with grave, important matters (emphasis mine)
- GRAVITY: Seriousness.
What shall we take from this?
My hope is that we follow righteousness, do the will of the Lord, and put into practice what we learn.
There are many “hard sayings” in the Bible. ”Be sober” is clear and straight forward. I encourage you to do your own study, to discuss this with your husband, and to find out the “why” of it all. We are to be sober (serious) and watching in prayer, because our adversary is seeking to destroy us. We can easily be deceived and led astray when our guard is down while we are “just goofing around.”
Should we always be serious?
No, we shouldn’t always be solemn, sober, serious. The Word talks much of joy and delight. And if you knew me here in my home, in my community, you would know just how much I tend toward silliness. You would know I am writing to myself above all.
We must distinguish between foolishness or silliness and the joy of the Lord. The Lord desires His children to be full of godly joy. It’s one mark of the Christian life. Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit. Silliness is not.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 7:21
(All scripture is taken from the Geneva Bible, unless otherwise stated. Definitions are from The Webster’s New World Dictionary, copyright 1975)