...have been reading "Choose Joy" by Kay Warren (married to Pastor Rick Warren) and loving it. In the book she espouses the theory that joy is a choice, something we CHOOSE. It is not just a by-product of the nice things that happen to us or when all of the circumstances in our lives line up but something we can (and should) experience even in the midst of the calamaties of life. She says that choosing "joy" in any situation is the sign of a deep trust in God. It's an acknowledgement that he knows what he's doing with our lives and nothing that happens to us is a surprise to him, or something that he cannot use to benefit us and to bring glory to himself through our experience. There is nothing that happens to us that does not come through his hand and that we cannot trust Him to take us through.
Here is a quote from Chapter 3 that struck a chord... and made me think about my own weapons of choice...
"...When will we figure it out? Our children are not here to meet our need for appreciation. They were not born to meet our expectations for their lives. They are here to fulfill God’s purpose for them… Yet day after day, we look to our children - or our husbands or our friends or our co-workers to fulfill us. When they don’t we get angry. They owe us.
That’s when most of us pick up our weapons of choice. I’m not proud of the weapons I have been known to use when I’m wounded. But I will be honest and share my weapons with you as long as you will think truthfully about yours.
My favourite weapon when I’m disappointed in someone is either the cold shoulder -the not so subtle way of turning away from the offending person - or a sarcastic comment that cuts like a knife. As we hold our weapon of choice, we justify our attitude. We decide that if the other person would just change, we would have joy.
Why is this?
Because we are expecting the people in our lives to meet needs they cannot meet. They were never supposed to..."
From: Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn't Enough - by Kay Warren