As former procrastinators, we should be filled with joy. Hallelujah! More and more often we do what needs doing when it needs doing. We have happy benefits.
Sometimes we put off joy – “I don’t have time to be cheerful. I have to concentrate on this task.” We act as if joy is a heavy thing we load onto our backs. Joy is good cheer that comes from trusting God who loves us. It affects how we view things and interact with others. We don’t add it to our do list.
We deny ourselves joy when we put off doing what needs doing when it needs doing, or when we don’t do something we’d simply like to do and could. We deny ourselves joy when we take the position we’re not that kind of person. We deny ourselves joy when we don’t choose a cheerful attitude.
Whether we’re “naturally cheerful” or “naturally somber” we can each rejoice always and experience the healthy advantages of a merry heart. According to scripture, joy isn’t optional. The Lord will grow a merry heart in us. We cooperate with Him through how we think which affects our feelings, faces, voices. “Doing joy” leads to being joyful.
Imagine the family atmosphere if you were a mom who says “yes” more than “no,” who smiled often, laughed easily, and used a cheerful voice. Imagine the office atmosphere if you smiled at colleagues and welcomed them with a happy tone. Even the phone reveals our hearts. Do you make the person on the other end feel wanted when you answer?
A merry heart influences others. We have two friends (unacquainted) who are an extra pleasure to be with. These two women “idle in joy.” When they’re not engaged in conversation, their neutral gear is joyful. Each time we’ve seen one of them, my husband comments, “She has such a positive outlook.” Or, “She enjoys life; she’s enthusiastic.” So am I sort of a drag?
Yep, sometimes. I’m wired to analyze. Even if I’m for doing something, my brain starts weighing pros and cons. What comes out of my mouth sounds more like an evaluation than affirmation. Someone suggests a picnic and everybody else chimes in, “Yea! Let’s do it.” I say, “Rain is forecast – and who has our cooler?” Family hears that as negative. To me, it’s not. Just because I say we need to take raincoats doesn’t mean I don’t want to go. I’m learning not to speak until I can couch my thoughts in positive terms and use a cheerful tone.
We shouldn’t all be back-slapping cheerful. Personalities differ. Even quiet joy has an impact. Sullen is quiet and it makes an impact, right? Sullen is quiet, negative, complaining. But the quiet cheerful person makes a positive difference.
Enjoy making beautiful laugh lines. This week write one thing per day on your calendar that made your heart merry.
What joyful note will you write on today’s date?