Are You Jane Joyful or Debbie Downer?
I know the title of this post is bit corny, but the message is simple- how we interact with people is very important. As Christians, we need to be vessels of joy to a downcast and dissatisfied world.
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Romans 14:17 (KJV)
Note that this verse does not say that the kingdom of God is unhappiness, sadness, and depression. One of the key characteristics of the kingdom is joy. If the kingdom of God is joy, and that kingdom is within us (Luke 17:21), then we should be full of joy as a result. It should naturally flow out of us. And it should flow onto those around us. Our joy should be impacting others. If we are always down and out, then how can we show others the benefits of being a child of God? Our joy needs to be evident so they can desire what we have.
If we do not have joy bubbling out and onto others, we need to do a self-check. Of course, there will be occasions when we aren’t expected to be overjoyed- for example, when tragedy strikes. But, in those times, we can exhibit other kingdom traits, such as peace.
If, as a rule, you are not joyful, check yourself to see what the problem might be. Are you in regular fellowship with the Lord through prayer, the Word and worship? Is there any sin that you may have committed that has not been repented of? Are you holding any unforgiveness towards anyone? These are things that will affect your joy.
It is important for others that we are joyful, but it is more important for us. Jesus died so we could have His joy- it is a wonderful gift to help us enjoy our lives. What a shame it would be to go through life and fail to tap into the joy of the Lord. Let’s dump Debbie Downer and choose to be Jane Joyful. When we choose joy everyone benefits.