Contagious Joy

Published on Aug 19th, 2010 by admin | 0

I don’t know about you, but there have been times in my life where I have felt less than happy with my self.  Usually it is because I have done something that I should not have, that was not very “christian” as they say.

Of course as soon as I do something that is not very “christian” I feel guilty and begin the process of doing some self evaluation, which leads me to not liking myself very much.  And of course if I am unhappy with my self I can only imagine how God feels about me…not very good.  All in all, a bleak, sad picture.

So this is what it looks like…did something bad = feel guilty = self evaluation = self hate = God not happy with me = sad/lonely/unloved me .  Anybody else ever live this equation?   Yes, I know there is and these negative feelings continue to build up in our lives and the lives of others…it is contagious sadness/self hate.

I read this passage in the  book, A Glimpse of Jesus, by Brennan Manning this week,”If Jesus sat at your dining-room table tonight with full knowledge of everything you are and are not; if he laid out your whole life story, with the hidden agenda and the dark desires unknown even to yourself, it would still be impossible to be saddened in his presence.”

In my equation Jesus is NOT smiling. In Brennan’s equation, he is indicating that Jesus would be happy, joyful.

Brennan reminds us of God’s gracious love.  A love that says to us…I want to be with you, now, today, knowing your whole life story, knowing the dark places of your life.  Don’t wait until you have everything in “perfect order”.  I want to love you right where you are, bring your brokenness and and fears, I will love you.  Today, now, as you are, not the way you think you should be.  I love you!  I am thrilled to be with you!

We have difficulty accepting this because that is not how things are here on planet earth.  We are judged, ridiculed, compared, evaluated, slighted, the list goes on.  It is hard to remember that on God’s plant, in God’s Kingdom, sadness and self hate are not part of the equation.

I don’t have to live an equation of sadness.  God has a much better equation:   feeling worthless/sad = come to God = love.   I don’t think there is anything more joyful than that.   And I think you would agree with me that I prefer contagious joy and love, over the other stuff any day.

I am not perfect at this, but I know I want it…Thank you God for loving me so joyfully!

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