Don’t Sacrifice Joy

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Joy is a bigger deal than you might think. It makes all of life better—right now—not some day in the future.

You know how frustrating the pursuit of your goals in life can be. We all long for that place of satisfaction, that time of fulfillment, that state of shalom in which all seems right. And our striving for that state—our focus on what we don’t yet have—drains the joy out of us. We end up living as absurdities: people who sacrifice joy in pursuit of it.

We lose a lot of joy in search of doing things the right way, making relationships conform to expectations, reaching for the glory of God and falling short of it . . . and yet, the rest of life is buoyed by the joy we just sacrificed in the pursuit of it. If we could embrace it in the process, we would find that relationships are strengthened, health improves, and opportunities open up. Why? Because people are drawn to those who know joy. If we could let go of some of our perfectionism and strategies and simply enjoy God and life, we’d get much, much closer to our goals.

Joy is a bigger deal than you might think. It makes all of life better—right now, not one day when you get where you want to go. But here’s the key: you have to choose it now! If you spend your life chasing after it, you never have it. If you choose it now—and in every other “now”—you have it always. It isn’t “out there.” It’s right in front of you.

You can’t afford to wait to enjoy life. You don’t have enough time. Life is happening now, and you get to choose your attitude toward it. Choose wisely, and then celebrate with the people around you. Joy is the climate of heaven, and heaven comes close to those who embrace it now.

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