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Joy Giver or Joy Stealer Empty Joy Giver or Joy Stealer

Post  Admin on Wed 02 Dec 2009, 9:28 am

A NORVELL NOTE by Tom Norvell
- http://www.anorvellnote.com

A Norvell Note
Vol. 12 No. 48 November 30, 2009


Joy Giver or Joy Stealer
For the last three months I've been preaching a series of lessons entitled "Rediscovering Joy" from Paul's letter to the Philippian church. I've used a number of resources including two very fine works: Charles Swindoll's, Laugh Again (https://secure2.convio.net/ifl/site/Ecommerce?FOLDER=0&store_id=1101&NAME=Laugh+again&x=0&y=0) and Keith Wishum's, Jouney to Joy (https://www.createspace.com/3385177). I'm grateful for the insights and instruction these men have shared with me to help me more fully understand the true meaning of joy - how to discover it, how to maintain it, and how to rediscover it should it be lost, or stolen.
As is usually the case, I've learned far more as I've studied, prepared and delivered these sermons than anyone sitting in the audience. One of the lessons that I have relearned during this study is this gift we call joy is incredibly precious and fragile, and can be lost or stolen.
Each week I have exhorted, encouraged, and urged our people to do whatever necessary to obtain this joy found only in Christ, and I have pleaded with them to do everything within their power to protect it and share it. There have been times when within minutes of finishing a lesson I have lost or allowed my joy to be stolen due to an opinion someone "just had to share," or something they "just to get off their chest." There have been times when only minutes prior to turning on my microphone I have had an encounter with an angry member, received an unpleasant email or text, or been confronted with someone's latest complaint over what the church family has or has not done to their satisfaction. Before I realized what was happening my joy was gone.
Having been the victim of these random acts of joy destruction has brought back to my memory the many times when I have been guilty of stealing the joy from another. There were those times when my wife enthusiastically shared the joy she finds in teaching eighth graders the value of learning Algebra, and I have been too preoccupied to pay attention. There have been times when one of my children wanted to share a funny story or the most recent "Dad, you won't believe what happened today!" and I was too cool to be excited with them. There have been times when my friend called to tell me about something great that happened to him and I have been so disappointed that it didn't happen to me that I would not allow myself to rejoice with him as he rejoiced.
As I prepare to conclude this sermon series next Sunday, and as I conclude this article I have these renewed commitments:
First, I want to discover, obtain, maintain, and when necessary, rediscover what being joyful in Christ really means. I want to know this joy. I want to experience this joy. Often. Regularly. Consistently.
Second, I want to be a joy giver. I want to live, teach, preach, and write in a way that illustrates and reinforces the joyful life that God wants us to have.
Third, I do not want to be a joy stealer. Even when I do not have what is needed to give joy, I certainly do not want to steal joy from another person. If necessary, I would rather remain silent while others rejoice, than say something or do something that would cause another to lose their joy.
I want to live, teach, preach and write in such a way that others may say about me what Paul wrote about the believers in Philippi: "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now..." (Philippians 1:3-5, NIV)

Tom
A Norvell Note ©️ Copyright 2009. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
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