Joy is the source of happiness, according the Merriam-Webster. Wouldn't you rather have access to the source of happiness, instead of happiness itself? Happiness fades. After you've left your husband/boyfriend/wife/girlfriend and spent enough time with the new guy/girl - the happiness is going to dissipate. Fights will ensue, and eventually, you will feel exactly as you did with the first person. The problem isn't other people. The problem is you. The problem is me. We need to access the source of happiness, so that when those warm gooey feelings about life are gone, we can tap into more of them despite our circumstances.
According to Beth Moore (my new favorite author) "We need a sustainable quality that shows who we really are and to whom we belong." I belong to Christ! Wouldn't I want others to see that? I talked about that in the very first blog on this journey. I want to be an example - someone worthy of others' jealousy. I can't be that if I'm consistently relying on happiness to keep me going. My misery is going to roadblock happiness. I need joy to come in with the orange flag and direct traffic to another path that will lead to those positive emotions. The detour that joy provides lies on the pages of the Bible. It's in my words to God as I ask him what the heck is going on.
"And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe." 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7
The sustainable quality I need is joy, and I gain it through the imitation of Christ. Only then can I become an example to others. The example I'm leading now is NOT one to be followed, let me tell you. It never has been, and part of me fears it never WILL be. This is part of the reason I am so hesitant to share my faith with others, and hesitant to give up habits and people who might bring me down. I now I should only surround myself with things and individuals that would uplift me, but I'm no better most of the time! So, who am I to judge? Who am I to say "follow Christ, He'll fix all your crap". Especially if I don't reflect that in my own life. So, here I am, attempting to pursue joy through trials and temptation.
How do you pursue joy, if at all? How do you pursue happiness? Do you find there to be a difference in your life between the two?
Till next time,