Monday, July 11, 2011

Put on a happy face?

Sometimes we think we've got to hide our sadness and keep on going. Sometime we think we've got to have it all together and not show any signs of weakness.

Once I heard a girl at school say, 'The guy said, "Being a Christian is the way to be happy". But I know heaps of happy people who aren't Christians.' Inwardly I cringed.

I think it's the wrong idea if we say "Be a Christian, it'll make you happy." Happiness is a subjective emotion based on circumstance. And God doesn't promise that our circumstances are all going to be happy ones. He doesn't promise we aren't going to have any problems or that life is going to be easy.

People are watching us. They are not, as we might suppose, looking to see us living in perpetual happiness. That is fake. They are looking to see real people, with real hardships and real weaknesses - and they will then see the acceptance, belonging and redemption that comes from God in the midst of this. And a real, true joy. 

Don't put it off; don't frustrate God's work by showing up late, throwing a question mark over everything we're doing. Our work as God's servants gets validated—or not—in the details. People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly . . . in hard times, tough times, bad times; when we're beaten up, jailed, and mobbed; working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love; when we're telling the truth, and when God's showing his power; when we're doing our best setting things right; when we're praised, and when we're blamed; slandered, and honored; true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognized by God; terrifically alive, though rumored to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die; immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all

2 Corinthians 6:4-10 (The Message)

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