How secure is your joy? The choices we make can be the making of us, and they can also be our undoing as well. The reason people make bad choices would seem to be complex. Maybe they do so out of ignorance, well instruction can correct that. But maybe they think they will never get caught.
And if they do not get caught and no one knows it was them, then life can continue as normal. Alternatively they possibly do not even care if they were to be caught, so they go ahead anyway. The same sin is at the core. The desire to please self over and against anyone or anything else.
I was speaking to our Guild at Penninghame two weeks ago. They have cards that carry the full year’s breakdown of who is coming to speak, the date the speaker is coming is printed and what the topic will be. On the front of the card was the word joy. The word is then broken down into its component letters. J, for Jesus first. O, for others next. Y, for yourself last. When we put God first we do not give second rate offerings to our loved ones, but rather first class love. By Putting Christ first we can love others in the strength of God by the help of God’s Holy Spirit who is given to us when we believe in him. Then we can forgive others with the grace of God and in doing this we ourselves benefit. We can go the extra mile and we can start again even when all goes wrong.
For many of the woes we see in life, and in the media who are adept at showing this to us, are there because the reverse happens. Who did Sam Allardyce put first to achieve the shortest England manager’s tenure in history of sixty seven days? It was not God, not even others, I fear purely himself.
Some might feel they can cut God out. They can do good for others before self? Service before self? Service without God? True you can as long as you state, human powered service before self. Or, limited and frail human service, meaning it’s very best before self. Good though this is, it’s not quite as good as God empowered help for others before self. Grace sustained patience to others before self, Heaven inspired love to others before self. Thus how secure is your joy?