In 1 Corinthians 15:34, it is written, “Awake to righteousness [seriousness*], and do not…” What does it mean to awake to righteousness?
Being awake to righteousness is the same as being serious about keeping all of God’s Word; being aware of putting God’s Word into practice in every area of my life.
To take life seriously actually doesn’t mean that I have this façade and I look really serious. That only goes so far. Seriousness mustn’t be confused with heaviness, or a somber, gloomy outward appearance. I can be serious right in the middle of being joyful. I can be serious right in the middle of the most joyous celebration.
Live according to the light I have
Being serious means that I live according to the light that I have, and that I reach and strive to get a hold of more. God has commanded us to keep His precepts and commandments diligently. Only then can there be , growth and development. That is seriousness.
Paul saw this seriousness of life so clearly. In Acts 20:31, it’s written that he exhorted night and day with tears. That is the way he saw the seriousness of life. The five wise virgins also took things extremely seriously. The five foolish virgins were along on the journey, but unfortunately, they did not take life that seriously, and so they did not reach the Bridegroom. (Matthew 25:1-13)
Acting on God’s promptings
When I sense God prompting me to give something, or say something for example, and I do it immediately without negotiating back and forth and waiting, then I am taking life seriously. I am not letting my feelings or reasoning hinder me. When I am able to take action when it comes to the things that I am supposed to do, without putting them off, then I am taking life seriously.
Noah built the ark by faith. For him, it would have been perdition if he hadn’t built anything. Building was life itself for him. That is how I ought to look at it when God works in me—it is either perdition and destruction, or that I partake of life.
Noah also had to do things with exactness and precision, in order for the boat to be seaworthy and stay afloat. I must work in the same way on my own salvation, as it’s written in Philippians 2:12, with fear and trembling. That is what it means to take it seriously. In this way I can test myself in many things, to find out whether I am taking life seriously or not.
Take all of God’s Word seriously
The Word of God is for you and me personally. It will be an eternal judgment for me if I reject it, and eternal salvation if I receive it and do it. My life will be judged according to what I have heard. That is why I should really take this seriously. All of God’s Word is serious. God has His plan of salvation for me in all of it, when I take the Word of God seriously to heart.
Points to ponder
I know I am taking life seriously when I am …
- Living according to the light that I have
- Reaching out for more of God’s fullness
- Keeping God’s Word diligently
- Acting immediately when God prompts, without waiting or negotiating
- Carrying out God’s works with exactness and precision
- Taking all of God’s Word seriously
This article has been translated from Norwegian, and is inspired by a talk by Kaare J. Smith on 4th February, 2019.
*In Norwegian, this verse is translated to “Awake to seriousness, and do not sin …” — ed
You may be interested in reading more on our topic page, “Being a Christian.”
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.