I read a quote yesterday that really spoke to me. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “”Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.” I’ve written about this subject before, but since it’s burning within me this week, I guess I’m supposed to write about it again. So….here we go.
The Bible tells me that “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10, NIV. That tells me that joy must be pretty important. But, how do you get joy? I learned a long time ago that the word joy could also be an acronym: J – Jesus, O – others, Y – yourself. The thought process behind it is, of course, that if we follow this simple formula, joy will follow. When asked which commandment was greatest, Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-38. So. I guess the acronym is correct. But, how do you do it? How do you love your neighbor as yourself?
Well. How do you love yourself? I’ll tell you how I love myself. I remind myself that Jesus loves me and spend time in His Word. I bathe myself with stuff that smells good because it makes me feel good. I fix my hair and put on makeup because it brightens my day to look in the mirror and look “put together.” I wear clothes that flatter me. I feed myself food that I like. See? I do a lot of nice things for me! According to Jesus, that means I should be doing nice things for my neighbor. Since my neighbor truly means anyone we come into contact with, I think that means we should just be doing nice things for the folks around us!
What can you do for someone else to brighten their day? If you can cook, try cooking extra to deliver to someone who might enjoy it. If you are a “word” person, send a sweet or encouraging (or both!) note. Whatever your talent is, share it with someone. And don’t tell me you don’t have a talent, because everyone does!
So. Here’s your challenge. Love someone today. And I’m using love as an action word here. Do something for someone else for no other reason than to make them smile. Trust me, You’ll get joy out of it too!
Be blessed and tell someone you love them. (and show them too!)
Oh….and one more thing: Always, always take the opportunity to tell folks that Jesus loves them!