Someone asked me this question other day; “isn’t enjoying life in Christ just being narcissistic?” I had to smile and then refrain from going into a one hour sermon on the blessings of life in Christ. However, I could understand his/her dilemma. In our culture today, which is very probably more self-absorbent than our forefathers, being joyous is sometimes associated with having everything we want, when we want it, and how we want it. However, life in Christ is just the opposite when compared to the up-side down world we live in.
Enjoyment is learning to live with God in the center of everything we do. It is enjoying His creation and realizing the purpose behind it. It is being a faithful steward. It is realizing that God created everything in this world to be enjoyed and shared with others. He inspired Solomon to write that what is enjoyable for humanity is to experience gladness with the basic routines of life that includes eating, drinking, and working. The one who finds a good mate likewise receives a gift from God. That everything made under the sun was created for mankind’s enjoyment. The problem of course is the sinful nature that leads us to rebel against God’s ways. Because of sin and its effect upon a broken world, much of what God created for good becomes perverted and harmful against oneself and others.
Now we are not condoning harming others for our joy. Real joy harms no one. Real joy uplifts the spirit and inspires everyone around. Real joy reminds us that God is good, loving, and full of radiant life himself. That He created everything to share with us. That everything He made was very good and for our good. Joy is one of the attributes of the Spirit. As the Spirit lives in us, His character, attitude, and divine nature rubs off against us, and like a contagious virus that fights against bacteria, His Spirit influences and impacts us along the way.
My apology for those who I may have offended by enjoying the life God has made for me. My prayer is that our Triune God may likewise create a new heart in you so that your joy may likewise be full.
Enjoying Life in Christ,