: humility leads to joy (i think)

Not that everyone’s been on the edge of their seats just waiting for me to write an update on my English adventures, but…

I wish that I could bottle up the last seven weeks and drink them like water. God has been immeasurably gracious to me and I wouldn’t even know how to begin saying thanks. I know that I probably sound like an annoying hyperactive hamster, but it’s really refreshing to be happy and not want to claw my eyeballs out (see all blog posts from 2012). 

Something God has been teaching me this summer is the relationship between humility and joy.* It’s still a baby idea, but I’ve seen it worked out in two particular ways over the past few months:

1. The desire to control my life- past, present, or future- ultimately steals the joy of living a life controlled by Christ. And I know I feel really warm inside after reading verses like 1 Peter 5:7 (Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you) and Matthew 6**, but these passages are commands to unclench my hands, give over my burdens, and live humbly under the lordship of Christ. To cast my cares on God is to say, “You are able to handle my life, dreams, and future better than I am.” 

There are oceans of joy available for those who will jump in the water instead of trying to tell the Captain how to steer the boat.

2. It takes humility to receive a gift from God without compulsively trying to pay him back. On a macro level, this is seen on the cross of Jesus Christ. It is an unmerited, undeserved, and un-repayable gift. Even still, many people spend their entire lives trying to re-earn a salvation that’s already been bought because some part of them believes the cross was ultimately ineffective. On a smaller scale, this gift of grace is seen in the air we breathe or having bright blue eyes or getting a parking spot right next to the door or running into an old friend and laughing with them for hours and hours. It’s humbling to think that God continues to lavish his children with gifts even though we could never, ever repay him.

There is joy to be found for the child that rips open his present on Christmas morning, hugs his father, and spends the rest of the day playing with it. Unfortunately, though, many of us opt to open the gift, say, “Father, how much do I owe you”, and spend the rest of the day doing dishes in order to pay him back.

Once again, this is a baby idea and I’m still processing through it. Meaning, I might disagree with myself in two weeks. But it’s interesting to think that humility is a wellspring of joy and pride is a thief of joy. I’m sure that someone who is smarter than me has already written a book about it, so if you know of one let me know.

*I’d even say this in relation to humility and happiness…but I know the word “happiness” has such a bad reputation nowadays. It’s okay to be happy, though. Promise.

**Matthew 6 (Paraphrase, but go read it!): If God clothes the grass, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not clothe you, oh you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying “What will we eat or drink?”…your Heavenly Father knows you need them all.

2 thoughts on “: humility leads to joy (i think)

  1. “There are oceans of joy available for those who will jump in the water instead of trying to tell the Captain how to steer the boat.”

    this made me well up with tears because it's ME. so good. can't wait for you to be back!


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