The other day, I was checking out Lysa TerKeurst’s Facebook page and came across a fabulous and thought provoking quote:
Paying attention to the reaction we have when our happy gets bumped is so telling. I want my reactions to reflect the relationship I have with Jesus. (Lysa TerKeurst)
Lysa’s words hit me hard. Really hard. And I immediately felt convicted. So many times when my happy gets bumped, my initial response isn’t something that would please the Lord, nor is it anything I would want my girls to emulate. I don’t like to admit it, but anger, sarcasm, the cold shoulder, and eye rolls are sometimes the first things that spill out when my happy gets bumped.
My unpleasant response is rooted in two problems. The first and biggest part of my problem is that I’m a sinner and therefore what’s inside of me isn’t always pretty. The Bible repeatedly warns that what I’m holding inside will eventually come out. A sinful response is never a good response.
- But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. (Matthew 15:18)
- Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23)
- A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. (Matthew 12:35)
- A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Luke 6:45)
My sinful nature is a big enough problem on its own, but the matter is also compounded by a second problem rooted in personal naiveté. I am still surprised when my happy gets bumped. Life is hard, so I shouldn’t be one bit surprised when I’m bumped. In addition, the Bible tells me I shouldn’t be surprised. In fact, the Bible tells me to expect to be bumped. Consider the words of Peter.
- Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. (I Peter 4:12)
Because of my sinfulness and surprise, when my happy gets bumped, the results may not be pretty. But thanks to God, my situation isn’t a hopeless one. If I want the love of Jesus to spill out when I’m bumped, He has to be the One who fills me up. And, if I’m full of Him, there’s no room for bitterness, anger, malice, sarcasm, eye rolling, or the silent treatment. When Jesus has filled me, a sinful response is no longer an option.
To make room for Jesus, I have to empty myself of anything that is not like Him. John 3:30 reminds me that “He must become greater; I must become less.” As I’m emptying myself of those things which are unclean, I should be replacing them with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, the nine fruits of the Spirit.
If I’m filled with Jesus, when my happy gets bumped there is no mess to clean up on the carpet of life. I don’t have to worry about trying to remove the deep red stains left behind by a sinful response. If I’m filled with Jesus, when my happy gets bumped the contents of my heart may slosh around a bit, but they don’t always have to spill out. But, even if the bump causes a spill I can relax because the clear and clean fruits of the Spirit never leave stains behind. And, that my friends, is a marvelous blessing.
© 2015, Andrea Thorpe. All rights reserved.