Have you ever meditated on the first few books of the Acts of the Apostles? If not, you should. It is beautiful to see the joy that fills these converts. They are filled with such joy that they give away personal possessions for the good of the community. How many of us have experienced that type of joy?
As I have pondered their joy, I have come up with the hypothesis that they were joyful because they knew the extent of their sinfulness, and God relived them of the guilt and stain of sin. He gave them eternal life, even when they didn’t merit it. Of course, I am still struggling with my own sin. It is easy in modern society to understand sin because we have watered down the concept. If it is something that almost every does, then it cannot be that serious.
Let me try to explain. When we were baptized, we stopped being an individual; we became a part of the body of Christ; a part of all people. Thus, when we gossip, we hurt the overall body. we hurt Christ. We hurt the person we are talking about. I can go on and on here, with other examples, but I won’t. Plus, just because my head sees the more egregious nature of sin, that doesn’t mean that my heart has conceded these points. I honestly like society’s position on these things, but it is in conflict with my reading of the Bible. Hence, if my hypothesis is correct, I have yet to experience this joy.
Spend some time today thinking about your joy; your joy in Christ. Is it as intense and overwhelming as those from the early Church? If not, what do you think you are not experiencing the joy of Christian living? What can you do today to move yourself more in line with that which God has promised?