Monday, March 31, 2014

Thought of the Day !!

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
                                            Philippians 2:1-4 (NIV)                      

Paul is asking for the Philippians to make his joy complete.  But as I read this I find that what he tells them (and us) to do is what will unlock our own joy.  In his book Victorious Living E. Stanley Jones talks about our desire for happiness in one of his devotions.  Let me sum up what he said.

We are all looking for happiness.  It must be a God given instinct to want to be happy, and there is nothing wrong with this.  The problem comes in how we go about seeking happiness.  When we are bent on being happy and continually seek it by our own means, we will fail.  It will elude us.  There will be brief encounters of it, but lasting happiness simply cannot be found by us.  As a matter of fact Jones said that the most miserable and fed up people he knew were people who were most bent on being happy. 

So it seems that there is a dilemma, at least until we realize who created everything, including happiness.  We stumble upon Jesus, and he tells us to "follow him".  We walk with him.  The journey takes us to others who are saddened and broken.  We want nothing more than to alleviate their pain.  And in the process we forget our own happiness.  But as we do, our hearts are filled with joy.  This is when we're used by God to love others. 

That is what Christianity is all about.  That is what denying ourselves is all about.  It's about putting aside our own desires for happiness to love others and finding complete joy in the process.
In the love of Christ,


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