You ain’t gonna steal my joy

How often do you get upset about something someone says or does?  Have you ever considered that their reaction to you may not be about you at all?  Let’s say it’s not about you, why then would you let it upset you?  Most people are familiar with the ‘pay it forward’ concept.  Consider the ways you “pay it forward” when you take on anger and frustration because of something someone said or did.  The sales person who is grumpy…the operator who is overwhelmed with too many phone calls and answers in a less than nice way…you fill in the blank.

This weekend I’m babysitting for a pair of twins whose parents had to be out of town.  I couldn’t go to church so this morning, so I found a church channel on TV.  Joel Osteen happened to be on and he was speaking about this very topic.  Don’t let others steal your joy, peace or strength, he says.  You have a choice about whether or not to get annoyed, angry, or upset.  The Bible stays in 2 Timothy 4:5 (Amplified),  As for you, be calm and cool and steady, accept and suffer unflinchingly every hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fully perform all the duties of your ministry.

It’s pretty hard for me to remain calm, cool and steady when someone ticks me off.  How about you?  But as Joel says, if you allow yourself to get upset, you’re allowing them to steal your joy! Right out from under you!! I don’t like anyone stealing anything from me, much less my joy.

I love this story.  A taxi driver was in traffic one day when another obnoxious driver on the road cut him off, nearly causing an accident.  Despite the fact that the near accident was the other driver’s fault, he proceeded to roll down his window, shake his fist and shout obscenities at the taxi driver.  To this, the taxi driver smiled, waved and drove off.  The taxi passenger was amazed.  “Why did you react so nicely to that man after he nearly caused an accident?” he asked.  The tax driver responded, “Some people are like garbage trucks.  They go around getting filled up with anger, malice and frustration until one day, they are full and have to dump some of it out.  Sometimes you get dumped on.  It’s not your fault and you can’t take it personally.”

Isn’t that a great illustration? Some people can’t help but carry around their frustrations of this world, especially those who don’t have a Savior like mine.  The Bible says, in 1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.  It’s not always easy to do, but I’m really trying to give Jesus all my anxieties, guilt, anger, annoyances, frustrations and hate on a daily basis.

Sidenote: I feel like I’m becoming closer to Jesus by reading the Bible all the way through. Because I’m reading what HE said, I’m learning more about him.  It’s such a great feeling.  I look forward to my time in the Word each day.