We’ve spent a month’s worth of posts thinking about ways to Take Joy! (Though that month stretched out quite a bit!) We’ve thought about what Joy! is, and what Joy! isn’t. About the source of true Joy! About ways to fill ourselves with Joy! and share a bit of it with others around us. And I think we’ve just scratched the surface… especially in the sharing area.
There’s one thought I’d like to leave you with before wrapping up this series. It’s been very important to me over the years. It’s a thought about how we think. Because what goes on in our heads every day affects our lives and those around us. And what goes INTO our heads on a daily basis affects what goes on in our heads.
Kind of like the “garbage in, garbage out” principle.
That’s an old computer programmer line… if a program is badly written, it won’t work smoothly and produce the desired result. Our bodies are like that too… If we fill them with junk, we can expect to get run down and feel yucky. Same goes for our heads. If we fill our heads constantly with the “bad”… and there is quite a bit of “bad” out there to be had… there won’t be much Joy! to tap into when we need it.
So what to do?
When all you hear about is war and strife
and everyone is arguing about ducks
and movies are filled with violence
and the news is filled with terrible stories
and Facebook makes sure you know about all of it?
When the world seems especially gloomy, the best thing to do is make a decision about what kind of things you want to think about. Yes, we live in this crazy world, and every day we see so much that is wrong. But we need to remember that there is a lot of what’s right and good in this world too. And that’s what we need to fill our heads with, so our thoughts and actions can reflect good things.
Finally brothers (and sisters!),
Whatever things are true,
Whatever things are honest,
Whatever things are just,
Whatever things are pure,
Whatever things are lovely,
Whatever things are of good report,
If there is any virtue,
If there is any praise,
Think on these things.
Philippians 4:8 (paraphrased)