It’s hard to maintain joy if you focus on circumstances, things of the world, media, or too much of the news. Your heart becomes restless, depressed and you become unproductive.
“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:2
One thing that has disrupted my joy lately is seeing other Christians mince over words. It’s amazing how easily worldliness can destroy peace between brothers and sisters in Christ. Anything that produces unfruitful or unedifying conversation towards another believer cannot be righteous, but sinful. Let’s remember that and strive to lead quieter lives so we can hear the Lord. Stay away from things and people who make it a goal to be noisy for the wrong causes.
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29
This morning I read a great article by Elisabeth Elliot, in Keep a Quiet Heart. The book is a compilation of her newsletters, if you ever had the pleasure of receiving them! If not, they are all online here. It lists only a few ways, I’m sure there are many more!
Several Ways to Make Yourself Miserable by Elisabeth Elliot
1. Count your troubles, name them one by one-at the breakfast table, if anybody will listen, or as soon as possible thereafter.
2. Worry every day about something. Don’t let yourself get out of practice. It won’t add a cubit to your stature but it might burn a few calories.
3. Pity yourself. If you do enough of this, nobody else will have to do it for you.
4. Devise clever but decent ways to serve God and mammon. After all, a man’s gotta live.
5. Make it your business to find out what the Joneses are buying this year and where they’re going. Try to do them at least one better even if you have to take out another loan to do it.
6. Stay away from absolutes. It’s what right for you that matters. Be your own person and don’t allow yourself to get hung up on what others expect of you.
7. Make sure you get your rights. Never mind other people’s. You have your life to live, they have theirs.
8. Don’t fall into any compassion traps-the sort of situation where people can walk all over you. If you get too involved in other people’s troubles, you may neglect your own.
9. Don’t let Bible reading and prayer get in the way of what’s really relevant-things like TV and newspapers. Invisible things are eternal. You want to stick with the visible ones-they’re where it’s at now.
That’s well said. I know I’ve done some of these, and I have been miserable. Now…
I have a wonderful little treat for you…I’ve been working on this little embroidery piece and I’m going to give you my design free, for personal use. 🙂
Download It Here
I used the stem stitch on leaves, back stitch on stems, split stitch on lettering and colonial knots in cream. Transfer the pattern (mirrored) with a red transfer pencil.
I’m going to add scripture to the bottom. Instead of embroidering, I printed a verse on a fabric sheet – I’ll secure down with tiny back stitches. This would look sweet in my red/yellow kitchen. Enjoy!