Thursday, April 13, 2017

Recognizing false sources of joy

Have you guys ever tried to squeeze your joy out of your relationships, or home, or work or kids? What I mean is, I've noticed a little tempting pattern that pops up now and again in my life during different seasons. I've noticed that Satan hits me where it hurts and whispers this lie to me that my joy is somehow linked to how close I'm feeling to my hubby, how clean and organized or decorated my house currently is, how fulfilled I am feeling from the work I put into homeschooling or how well my kids are behaving. 

Like seriously, his lie to me says that these things are the sources of tremendous joy... And that when these things are performing above a line that I invent for myself, then my joy can be full and I can just kick back and really truly and even finally enjoy a "perfect life, perfect marriage, perfect clean home, perfect school days and perfect kids" woah...... When I buy into that sneaky lie a few things happen, all according to Satan's plan.

The Bible tells us that​ the thief comes to ruin us, I love the way the verse says it 

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 

If I'm putting it all on Josh and relying on my marriage to supply my joy, when the feeling of close, or expectation of perfect fails.... It actually robs my joy, according to Satan's plan. He's the joy thief so he tricks us to put our trust in other things for joy, and then makes us feel so incredibly miserable when that source doesn't follow thru. 

Same with house stuff, if I'm holding off on joy until I get my checklist complete, or find the best New "10 tips to juggle it all", finally decluttering, or a little decorating shopping spree that I "owe myself"... Woah, Satan isn't an amateur at this, he knows how to link our vaulnerablities in and is so vicious! He is a pro. Joy doesn't come from these things! Any of them. So we're left feeling jealous, or empty or like we just can't get this figured out, not just joyless but actually like failures.

This one differs for all of us, but I know how great a smooth school day feels, where the kids are actually dillegent at work, excited with what I'm teaching and not complaining. A few things in this area are a struggle for me; if I am relying on that kind of day to give me joy I'm seriously asking a lot of my kids.... they aren't responsible for fulfilling me. I can't ask that of them! And I can't blame them for "failing to give me that joy" when honestly guys, that's not their job.

Here's where we need a good heaping dose of wisdom, now don't get me wrong, those things would be amazing, those things would be incredible to enjoy, it would be wonderful to feel like I've got things all figured out, that I'm "above line" performing at life... but the lie here is that seeking those things as an idol, as if they are the source of my joy. Guys, we need to get this distinction down, we need to know with all our hearts how to recognize this lie so we can start soaking up true joy, not counterfeit joy, or fleeting happiness. Or investing everyday in search of "the perfect day"... It doesn't exist. And even if you have seasons where marriage is wildly awesome, you've got this cleaning stuff down pat, work is rocking and rolling and your kids are a-m-a-z-i-n-g.... These things don't compare to the joy that comes from Jesus. The verse talks about the true, only, authentic lasting joy, He comes that we can have LIFE and have it ABUNDANTLY! 

When we set our focus on a relationship with Him as our source of joy, all the things He blesses us with are just that, blessings we can enjoy! We are free to enjoy marriage, kids, work... All of it... Because we aren't depending on people, or things or performance to fill us. And we also will be anchored in truth and ready to face the challenges in imperfect relationships, and imperfect lives because our joy is already full!! To be able to abide in joy, while living real-life!! That means when I have a bad day like yesterday, I can sing "victory in Jesus" and have my heart mean it, because a good day or a bad day isn't the definition of joy to me anymore. Real-life, all of it's crazy, ugly, hard and amazing can be considered joy when I'm living it with my Savior! 

No comments:

Post a Comment