Have you ever been around a really happy person when you're just not feeling happy? It can be really annoying.
Yesterday I talked about this brilliant movie called Inside Out. There is this adorable little blue character called Sadness, and she walks around in a constant state of gloom. Her voice is soft and a bit Eeyore-ish. Meanwhile, Joy (Amy Poehler--so you can just imagine) is always up, always bubbly, always cheerful. She tries to steer Sadness away from...well, sadness.
There are times in the movie that Joy is actually irritating with her cheerfulness. I wanted to say, "Just let her be, Joy!"
Joy is contagious. But not always. There are, of course, the chronic complainers who just don't want to change. However, sometimes circumstances and events lead to a deep and lingering sadness or depression. Health problems, loss of loved ones, and financial strain are just some of the reasons people cannot find joy. Emotional or psychological issues, children lost to drug abuse, or caring for parents with dementia can add to the daily stress of a person's life, making it seem impossible to find joy.
Sometimes and for some folks, intentional joy is elusive. Choosing joy is just too hard.
Extending compassion and empathy for those who cannot find or choose joy is vital if we desire to live a Christ-centered joy-filled life.
To exude joy is to show compassion, empathy, and understanding to those who are less joyful.
We can't ever expect anyone else to be in the same frame of mind, the same emotional, spiritual, or psychological place that we are, regardless of what that is. To do so would be self-centered and callous. While we want to encourage others to be joy-focused, we need to be understanding when they are not.
Jesus met people where they were. He offered hope. He offered peace. He offered a better life that would lead to joy. He always offered, and never insisted they "snap out of it," or "just choose joy." He understood. He listened. He cared.
I want to emulate Jesus, don't you?
Blessings Along the Path,
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Thursday, October 29, 2015
Empathy for Those Who Cannot Find Joy
I'm a person of creativity. I've always loved to entertain people, and especially, to make them laugh. I don't mind being the guinea pig, the one who is singled out to break the ice. I write what you think but don't want to admit. I'm a word nerd and a grammar geek. I love musical theatre, hiking, and worshipping my Lord, my King-the King of Glory. It's my desire to bring hope and healing to hurting individuals-or perhaps just to provoke thought, to give an encouraging word to get you through the day-through everyday situations and insights into God's Word.