Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Martin Luther regularly gave personal and pastoral counsel to his friends to seek cheerfulness. He himself was subject to discouragement and depression, which he usually attributed to the attacks of the devil. His letters and table-talk have much to say about ways of overcoming dark moods. Luther’s advice is characteristically earthy and bold, while at the same time he clearly points his companions to Christ. This combination of utter humanity and spiritual insight is one of the features that makes Luther so attractive as a mentor.Mike then goes on to discussion prohibitions against drinking and other activities that done in moderation can help bring cheerfulness. I will leave that to him.
I simply want to point out that in this age of self-help Christianity where deep faith and the 12 steps are often confused - going to church, and especially going to small groups, can feel like a visit to a mental health ward.
Christians are supposed to be winsome - cheerfulness is winsome. I'm not talking about pumped-up like at a game cheerful, just hail fellow well met cheerful.
Do you think Christ and the disciples sat around at night and discussed all their problems? Maybe once and a while, but I bet they spent a ot of time sitting around telling jokes and laughing - enjoying each other company - and others wanted to join.
I wonder what a church that focused on good cheer would look like? I know it would succeed.