Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sharing Joy

Yesterday, I called one of my best friends just to chat, and right after she said, "Hey, you!" and I said, "Hi, there!" I could hear excitement in her voice as she continued, "Did you read on facebook what my husband purchased online for us yesterday...for our six-year anniversary?" I hadn't been on facebook, so I told her I didn't know yet!

"Tickets to see Phantom of the Opera in October at the Fox! I can't believe it! He doesn't even like musicals, so it means so much to me that he would go with me and see it!"

My heart felt joy for her. "Wow, that's awesome! I am genuinely happy for you!"

I interjected the word genuinely in that sentence for a specific purpose. She understands me, so I went on to discuss the fact that I added that word. "You know, sometimes it's been hard for me to be genuinely happy for others. This summer I've been struggling to feel that way when someone tells me something good in their lives."

She had been there, too. She knew where I was coming from.

It is when I am struggling with my own heart issues that feeling joy for others in their time of excitement over their husband, their child, their job, their vacation, etc. becomes difficult. If I find myself reading about someone else's joy, and I cannot bring myself to share in their joy with them, I know I need to take a step back and evaluate myself.

Luke 6:45 says, "For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks."

I believe you could even change that verse to say, "For out of the overflow of his heart, his mind thinks." My attitude towards others is directly linked to my heart issues. And my heart issues are directly linked to my relationship with God. How much time I'm spending in His Word. How much time I'm spending in prayer.

So if you ever read about someone's child getting an A on the test, or someone's husband who bought a dozen roses, or someone's boss who gave them a raise or promotion...and you can't share in their joy and you perhaps feel like saying, "WELL, SO?" It might be time to evaluate your heart.

And believe me, it's so much nicer to share in that joy.


Donielle said...

What a wonderful revelation!

Anonymous said...

Great discovery Chrissy! Most of us have struggled to find a good answer on this subject. From all those years of taking Latin many years ago I can still remember a fabulous quote from good ol' Cicero that is pertinent to your subject today too - " A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues." There's also a guy named Anthony Robbins who has a really great thought that I have always liked as well, which is "Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life's deepest joy - true fullfillment."
Aunt Kathy

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

I understand and can relate. One example for me is the 13+ years I worked at trying to get my fiction novels published. It was sometimes hard to hear someone tell me they had sold a book and feel "real" happiness for them. This was especially so if they hadn't been writing as long. It was hard not to compare myself to them and wonder if God had just forgotten about me. Why wasn't He blessing me? Did He love them more? But I had to find a peace in where I was before God could let me move forward.

Deanne Smallwood-Thomas said...

i usually have way too much joy for other people, and it probably gets annoying or is taken as disingenuous. but it's real! works the same way with sympathy for me.

but i've been meaning to say thank you for telling me you were happy for me about my car situation. means a lot to me! it's always been hard for me to talk about my sort of abnormal situations and now i've reached a point where i can. that's why it's so special to know that people would actually care. thank you!

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