We've sung this beloved Christmas carol so much of our life time that sometimes we forget it's message... JOY to the world!
As I was finishing up some shopping the other day, here are a couple of non-joyful comments I heard around me:
A woman snapping at another woman while standing in line to get boxes: "You just stepped in front of me. I was in line ahead of you."
A grumpy elderly husband to his elderly wife as she stopped to look at some Lilly Pulitzer items: "Why are you stopping to look at that stuff? You aren't going to buy any of that crap. Move on to the make-up counter where we were headed."
Advent, Week 3 - Joy!
An attitude. A frame of mind. A heart filled with the gift of Christ.
These two were anything but joyful as they shopped. I was first horrified for the young woman humiliated in front of all of us in line behind them. The non-joyful woman was next anyway, and she was carrying on a conversation with the lady behind her. I didn't see who actually was in front of who, but I know that girl could have crawled in a hole.
The grumpy old man was so cruel with his speech to his wife (and I'm assuming they were married) that I really wanted to go pour some Christmas cheer all over him, but I refrained and just repented of all the times I'm snippy with my husband. It's demeaning and humiliating to be talked to in such a tone.
You may have read one of my earlier posts about how I grumble under my breath sometimes when things aren't done the way I think they should be done. Well, I decided shortly after that post that I need to immediately move into a grateful attitude and thank God for the person or thing that has just caused me to grumble. Exchanging grumpy for grateful!
Gratefulness is a much better state of mind than grumpiness.
A heart of gratitude delivers much JOY! Neither person with the grumpy attitude delivered joy to those around them. My thoughts stalled on those who were the recipients of their ungrateful hearts displayed in a very public way. God gave me a picture of myself when I'm not in a joyful frame of mind. It's not very pretty.
This Christmas and everyday of the year, let's work to sift our thoughts before we speak, allowing only the good to flow from our lips. The world will be a much more joyful place to be.
"Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person." (Colossians 4:6 NASB)
Thank You, Jesus, for caring about the words we speak and the attitude we speak with. Thank You for the mirror you placed in front of me today. Forgive my unkind words and grumpiness with others and especially with those who are closest to me. Help me to speak with grace, seasoned with love and truth, as I seek to point people to You and not away from You. In the JOY-full name of Jesus, Amen.