Great Interests at Stake

Earlier in the week I came across a quote by Albert Barnes who was an American theologian during the mid-1800’s. He writes about the Christian’s demeanor or deportment, the way a Christian should carry himself through life. And he says that constant levity is out-of-place in the life of the Christian.

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I’d be interested in your take on it:

Christians should be grave and serious, though cheerful and pleasant. They should feel that they have great interests at stake, and that the world has too. They are redeemed—not to make sport; purchased with precious blood—for other purposes than to make men laugh. They are soon to be in heaven—and a man who has any impressive sense of that will habitually feel he has much else to do than to make men laugh. The true course of life is midway between moroseness and levity; sourness and lightness; harshness and jesting.  Be benevolent, kind, cheerful, bland, courteous—but serious. Be solemn, thoughtful, deeply impressed with the presence of God and with eternal things—but pleasant affable and benignant. Think not a smile sinful; but think not levity and jesting harmless.

I guess that final sentence says it all: a smile isn’t sinful, but a life of levity and jesting isn’t harmless either. Do you agree?