De trop

Too much of a bad thing

"Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better." (Ecclesiastes 7:3)

I appreciate what Solomon's saying here. No, really. No double entendre, no hidden meaning. No trope as it were. As much of life beyond having your illusions disabused tends to be sadness, it's best, I would say, to learn to be content with boredom. If you turn over into the negative--i.e. depression and any of its spectrum, you will be well equipped to bring that up to level. Jesus Himself is referred to as a "man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief" (Isaiah 53:3). If it's good enough for Him, it's most certainly good enough for me. Solomon speaks again in his inimitable counterintuition:

"The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly." (Proverbs 20:30)

Would it kill you to...?

"Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." (1 Peter 2:24)

De trop is simply "too much". To where it's bled over into being unnecessary and therefore detrimental. I'm sure you could think of an example. I'm sure I could too. Paul cautions the Christians in Corinth to ease up the punishment for a man who had done some downright unspeakable things. "Lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow." (2 Corinthians 2:7) There's a fine balance in the administration of anything and if you find yourself holding the keys to whatever it is you're distributing to, say, subordinates--if that makes sense--please, please make sure you know what's good for you (yes, you). This is where mercy comes in.

"Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." (Galatians 6:1)

This is what Paul is getting at. As time goes on and the enormity of a mistakes--should we continue to want to pursue a godly sense of community--settles in, more and more mercy from the throne is necessary to keep things running smoothly. This is Gospel. In closing, trope--that device so often found in shallow and meaningless conversation--has its etymological root in "turning". Two ways of looking at it would be as follows (again, Solomon):

"Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you." (Proverbs 1:23)

"For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them." (1:32)

Too much of a good thing?

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