The joyful squeal erupted out of me, breaking the silence. As my daughter golfed and I watched, she made an unexpected, yet fabulous shot. I was so thrilled for her, my joy just burst forth! But similar to most teens, my squeal was more embarrassing than joyful to her. I’m learning joy is all about perspective.
How are you finding joy today? This month and the entire year, I’m on a quest for joy. As we look at JOY in terms of Jesus first, Others second and You (or ourselves) last, let’s explore finding joy in others.
I’ve discovered we can give, share or experience joy with others, but they cannot be our true source of joy. Only Jesus can. So how do we share or experience joy with others? By emulating Jesus.
This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. ~John 15:12-13
In the previous verse, Jesus shared final words with his disciples by explaining how we will be filled with His joy to overflowing. Jesus loved giving and finding joy in others! He then continued by instructing us to love others as He loves us, to even lay down our lives for others.
The apostle Paul echoed this sentiment describing his Philippian friends in Christ. But note even while they were a joy to him, he encouraged joy should stem from the Lord.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! ~Philippians 1:1 & 4
Others cannot truly fulfill our desire for joy. They can add to our joyful experience of this life, but the individual expression and experience are ours alone. We cannot find our joy soley in others alone because they are fallible, sinful creatures like us.
But this doesn’t mean we cannot share and give the joy we have in Jesus to others as Paul and Jesus instruct us. I experience joy in my kids, clients, and friends frequently. At times however, our joyful perspective is not always shared.
Take for example one of my MemoryMinders clients: I am so joyful when they challenge their brains or push forward in a difficult area. Even if they don’t succeed fully, I find joy in their process. But the experience is often not as joyful for them. They have a different perspective.
They wish to function like they did when younger. They want to remember everything, win the game or do an exercise fast. They are not always as joyful as I am in their journey. I see their current issues, execution, and effort which benefits their mind and memory wellness. They only see their deficiencies.
A friend of mine described joyful perspective using a golf analogy: your awful is my great. As a more experienced golfer if I hit a shot I could’ve executed better, I may think it’s awful. But a beginner hitting the same shot may think it’s great. Perspective.
I don’t know for sure, but it seems like this may be what Jesus was trying to tell the disciples before his death. He shared how He needed to leave them and they thought it was awful. But Jesus knew the full picture. His death, resurrection and winning our salvation would forever be a source of great joy.
Living with Jesus’ joy within us, we then strive to bring joy to others in the way we speak, live and act. They too can bring us great joy, as my daughter did for me with her golf shot. Even more fulfilling is experiencing mutual joy together!
As Paul described above, when we are full of joy in the Lord, we want to rejoice. Our lives are entwined with others here on earth. Let’s rejoice together with other believers sharing the joy He alone provides us. Let’s also emulate Jesus by serving, loving and sharing joy with others.
We may even erupt in a joyful squeal!
Linking with Crystal at #FreshMarketFriday