Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What's Stealing Your Joy?

(This story is an excerpt from my book, Slaying Your Giants)
A number of years ago my wife, Cindy, refueled our car at a Texas filling station. She accidentally pulled up to a full-service pump instead of the self-service pump and didn't realize the luxury service cost an extra fifty cents per gallon until she paid for the gas. When she told me about how much the station charged for full service, I got mad. That extra fifty cents per gallon surely has to be a violation of some federal law, I thought. For the next couple of hours, I fumed about the “full-service gas station robbery.”

As I was mulling over this terrible injustice, God showed me what I had done. He spoke to my heart, “You’ve just sold your joy for seven dollars!”  I never thought about how cheaply I would trade off something so valuable. Just as Esau despised his birthright for a bowl of soup, I exchanged my joy for a few dollars’ worth of gas. God used that incident to show me how many times I’ve lost my joy by focusing on little grievances that really don’t matter. I decided right then I wouldn’t forfeit my happiness that easily again. My joy is just too valuable to let go of it.

Imagine going on a picnic. Everyone is having a great time but a fly keeps buzzing around you. Now instead of enjoying the day, you’re focusing on the fly. You keep trying to swat it, missing every time. It continues to bother you, and rest of the afternoon you’re focused on the fly instead of the picnic. The “fly at the picnic” has just ruined your day!  

Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” (John 15:11). What’s stealing your joy?  At what price are you willing to surrender your happiness? It may be someone pulling in front of you on the highway, or a small incident at work. It could be a misplaced remote control, a flat tire, or someone’s smart-aleck words directed at you. Shake it off and remember that your joy is worth a lot more than seven dollars.  

Do you want to grow deeper as a disciple?  I’m praying about launching a new ministry to help you grow spiritually and teach you the things I’ve learned from God. This would include adding video teachings on my website and offering Bible studies for small groups free of charge. If you are interested in knowing more, please email me at kent @ Your email to me does not obligate you to anything. I simply want to know how many people would be interested in receiving deeper teachings from the Bible a couple of times a week. Write "discipleship ministry" on the subject line.