DO NOT DISTURB THE PEACE
Quite often our neighborhood is filled with the night-time noises of domestic disturbances. Clearly some people are not happy with each other. And if it is loud enough to draw the attention of the police, sirens and lost sleep can rob me of my happiness too!
Have you ever gone to a movie or a sporting event and encountered the abusive loud conversations and rude or raucous behaviors that make you just want to pick those idiots up and throw them out the door? I’m at the movie or the game to be happy, not disturbed or distracted.
Living in the absence of conflict clearly elevates the ‘happiness level’ in your own life – no brainer. But here is an additional observation: It seems that living in unity will also be the cause of joy in another. Paul writes “make my joy complete by being like-minded, being one in spirit and purpose.” (Philippians 2:2)
Mutual joy is a great building block. “I am glad and rejoice with all of you, so you too should be glad and rejoice with me.” (Philippians 2:17-18)
FOLLOW THE BLUEPRINT OF HUMILITY DRAFTED BY CHRIST
It may have been Saint Augustine who said that “pride is pregnant with sin, the mother of all sin.” Similarly, I would like to suggest that humility is pregnant with joy, the mother of all joy. Consider these truths:
- The joy of The Garden of Eden was quickly displaced by prideful rebellion.
- The citizens overrun by a brutal, prideful regime had their joy suppressed when enemy soldiers marched across European boundaries in WW II.
- Investors lost more than their life savings when greedy, prideful money managers irresponsibly mishandled investments – joy was stolen too.
Therefore, if pride breaks and takes joy, humility maintains and builds, even re-builds, joy.
Philippians 2:5-11 “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:…he made himself nothing… he humbled himself even to death on a cross”
Hebrews 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus who for the joy set before him endured the cross”
A LIFE OF JOY HAS NOT SO MUCH TO DO WITH WHAT HAPPENS OR DOESN’T HAPPEN TO US, OR WHAT WE HAVE OR DO NOT HAVE, BUT IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH CHOOSING UNITY AND HUMILITY.