Wednesday, September 12, 2012
ADDICTED TO JOY
(continued from previous blog - ADDICTED?)
To me, having been a part of the recovery system, addictions are basically body tingling, mind numbing, reality avoiding, running away, substitutionary behaviors. There is nothing about addictions that make our lives better. They are life destroying, flesh and mind eating bacteria that pull us further and further from the real world and encourage us to seek refuge in our absence of conscientiousness.
Being a Christian, following Christ and preferring the company of other like-minded, heart-connected people is definitely not a life style of avoidance or other-reality. It is a life-style of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The “high” perceived in the study done about Mega Churches is called JOY. We who truly love the Lord Jesus Christ have been filled with the Holy Spirit and from Him we learn how precious life really is and how important it is to keep involved through faith and not run away from pain or sorrow.
Do we long to see more of each other? Yes. Do we deliberately plan gatherings of smaller groups during the week between Sunday Services? Yes. Do we find ourselves full of love and joy in these circumstances? Yes. Does this mean that we are hiding from the real world and finding an escape in being together? NO! It means that we are gathering love from one another and celebrating the greatness of God whenever and wherever we can.
My own church could not be described as Mega. It can just barely be described as large. But it is a place where people get excited over Jesus and love one another and make a point to gather for things from formal church services to picnics in the park; from a celebration of recovery on a Friday night to a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting two Thursdays a month. From Youth Group meetings to lunches for the over fifty crowd. And let’s not forget all the Growth Group Bible Study meetings for various mixed and not mixed age and gender groups. Nor all the deliberate gathering together as friends simply for personal enjoyment.
The bottom line is that we are excited to belong to Jesus, excited to belong to a church family, and excited to learn as much as possible about Christ, God’s Word who walked among us, and about the eternal dedication of God to keep His promises of salvation.
Do we also look forward to the day when we will leave this world and arrive at the side of Jesus in Heaven? We sure do! But we determine to live in this world to the Glory of God until we are called home. That is exciting. That is a high of the heart! That is abundant living not destructive escapism. That is life as a Christian believer. That is life in the really real world…
May we all live life fully and abundantly from hearts filled with JOY and LOVE. And may we truly “in honor prefer one another” as brothers and sisters of one heart in Christ.
But let us also find ways everyday to let the world know who it is we represent and love by reaching out to them, even if only with a smile and a nod.