Spiritual Maturity: Thanks
God made all of us on purpose. We are happy when we obey that purpose. We become happier the better we understand and live out that purpose.
We share many purposes with other people, because God made us the same:
- Our bodies are happy when we eat healthy, rest well, and use them as they were intended.
- Our souls are happy when experience beauty.
- Our minds are happy when we discover truth.
- Our hearts are happy when we share love.
Joy is happiness of the spirit. It is the deepest and most important kind of happiness. But there are two very different ways our spirits can be happy.
Childlike joy is what we feel when things go well. When all our parts work together like the Golden State Warriors. When the people around us celebrate and support our purpose.
At times like those our spirits are at peace. It feels like heaven.
Childlike joy is a very good thing. We all need lots of it.
But there is an even better kind of joy. That joy only comes from obeying your own unique purpose. Something God wants you to do, that nobody else can or will do for Him.
This can seem a small thing, like befriending the new kid at school. Or feel big, like starting a company or becoming a missionary. It doesn’t matter what it looks like on the outside. What matters is how it feels on the inside.
Grown-up joy is hard work. It is like running a marathon or practicing a cartwheel. Your soul and your body will fight your spirit. The wound in your spirit stretches so much it bleeds. Other people won’t understand what you are going through. It can feel like hell.
But those are the times we best understand Jesus. How much he loves us, even when we fall short of his purpose for our lives. How much it cost him to live out his own purpose, by dying for us on the cross. The joy that only comes from suffering for sake of those we love, so they become free to find truth and beauty in Jesus.
That is why you get baptized. Giving up your right to childlike joy, so you can learn the grown-up job of becoming like Jesus.
Are you ready?