18 January, 2006

Lighten Up and Have Some Joy

Galatians 5:22 says, "THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS...JOY."
Over the years I have come to realize that most of us are just far too serious for our own good.
We can be so up tight about anything and everything, like:
* running a couple of minutes late,
* getting stuck in slow or stalled traffic,
* having to wait in line with a slow cashier
* somebody looking at us wrong
* somebody not looking at us at all
* having to wait 5 minutes for someone late for a meal
* gaining a pound
* discovering a new gray hair or wrinkle
* making an honest mistake
* you name it - we lose all perspective!

The problem is that we have unrealistic (and unscriptural) expectations of ourselves and others.
Nowhere did God say that He'd take us out of all our troubles.
He did say that He'd bring us through them and make us stronger.

If you want to experience the joy Jesus promised, do two things:

(1) Admit that your uptightness is largely because of the way you've decided life should be.

(2) Understand that your expectations are causing most of your frustrations.

If you keep expecting things to be a certain way and they aren't, you'll always be upset.
Here's an idea: try approaching each day without all those expectations.
For example, don't require everybody to be friendly; then when someone is friendly, you will be delighted.
Don't expect your day to be trouble-free; instead when problems come, say: "Thank you Lord for a chance to grow in grace."
Do it, and you'll see how much better everything is.
Rather than fighting against life you'll be flowing with it.
And pretty soon, if you work at it, you'll enjoy your life more - and other people will enjoy being around you much more too!
That's why Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 MSG
“Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.”


Amy said...

I think Gods trying to tell me somthin!!! LOLOLOL have you been talkin to him about me ?? LOLOLOL


michigan preacher said...

I love that verse from the Message. I've never read it that way before.

Funny, my wife was sitting next to me the other day, and was locating all the gray hairs on my head! Even as young as I am, I'm still old.

Praise God, it means I must be wise, with hoary head Proverbs speaks of!

Eddie Robbins said...

I've got that Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy
down in my heart...down in my heart to stay!!!

You reminded me of that old song we used to sing in children's church.

Darrell said...

Hey Eddie... that was Granny Clampett's song. Remember?

Sarah said...

[QUOTE]I've got that Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy down in my heart...down in my heart to stay!!! [/QUOTE]

Funny. That is all I could think about when I read this post. It stuck in my head the rest of the day.