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Examine Scripture

James 4:9

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Laughter into Mourning….

Do we truly regret the sins of our past?

Begin to lament, to mourn, to weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection.  -James 4:9, NAB

We often focus ourselves on our own happiness.  We seek laughter and joy in the world, and even when we accept Christ, we have a certain expectation of a happier life.  But a life with Christ is not just about our happiness.

St. James tells us that we need to turn our laughter into mourning.  What he is saying is that we need to focus less on our state of happiness, and more on our remorse for our sinful actions.

The Christian life begins with repentance.  We will never experience true happiness and true joy if we do not repent of our sins first.  We need to deal with the shame and guilt of our actions before we can rejoice in the joys of the Lord.

This view goes against some of the teachings of modern, mainstream Christianity – which often teaches to accept Christ and be happy, say a prayer and find peace.  The prosperity Gospel taught by some Christian preachers is a house of cards that is just waiting to come down.

The first step on the path to joy in the Lord is to turn our laughter into mourning.  We need to grieve the death caused by our sins and show true repentance for our wicked ways.  Only then will we find the road to greater happiness.

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