It’s safe to say I was feeling less than inspired on the topic of “Joy” this month. My first post was admittedly last minute, and I wasn’t exactly proud of what I’d written. It seemed forced and that made me a little angry.
I kept thinking, “You just need to write something”, “Throw some thoughts together”, “Write about the first thing that comes to mind”,”No one is going to benefit from reading this”, “Why are you even bothering”, but I was bashing myself and tearing myself down.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “We are our own worst critics”. Isn’t that the truth? We’re not content with anything less than perfection. Don’t you know that if being perfect is what you’re striving for then you are setting yourself up for failure? No one is perfect! Only Jesus was perfect, and last I checked I am for sure not Him.
So I’ve moved on from bashing myself about my previous Joy post. I realize not every post written on this blog is going to touch the hearts and lives of every person who comes across them (though that would be pretty cool, right?). Making this realization also helped me to understand something my mom told me about Joy.
What she said was along the lines of Joy not being something external, it comes solely from within. Recently I picked up a new study bible. In Philippians 4, there is a sidenote that really pairs nicely with her statement. It says,
“True contentment is the result of a heart committed to the risen Lord. Think of all the sins, pain, and brokenness that come from coveting. Adultery, murder, stealing, and lying can all be traced directly to a prior condition when hearts and minds are frustrated and discontent.
Notice what Paul says doesn’t come naturally; it is learned. The normal natural state of humanity is discontent and quiet desperation. It takes a powerful, spiritual presence to transform anxiety into joyous satisfaction. Ironically, it may be the shackles more than his freedom that schools Paul in the art of contentment. Despite the chains, Paul discovers this beautiful state of inner peace through the power of Jesus residing in Him.”
Joy, being one of the fruits of the Spirit, is a gift given to us from the Holy Spirit. Hard as we try to seek external means of joy, true contentment can only be found in Christ. By believing in Him and accepting him into your heart.
Until next time,