Posts Tagged selfishness

Joy-killer #4: Unmet Expectations

Click here to submit your answer to the question, “What do you think are things that kill people’s joy?” For the rest of the series, click here.

It’s been awhile since I wrote on the topic of joy-killers. I thought I’d pick it up again today.

Unmet expectations are a source of joy-robbing for most people I know and definitely for me. Yesterday was a perfect example of this. I had taken the day off to unpack boxes (since we just moved) and instead had a wild day filled with a number of things I didn’t plan, intend or want. I won’t bore you with details, but the highlight was not having our DirecTV set-up in time for the Broncos game last night. All day I was fairly grumpy and not joy-filled, and I am to blame for that.

Our expectations are often sources for dissatisfaction because they are unrealistic and selfish. We think we deserve a comfortable and easy life and when we don’t get it, we are very unhappy. But the reality is that we don’t deserve anything good. Anything we receive is a gracious gift from a generous God.

If we can lower our expectations (particularly of other people), remind ourselves that each day is better than we deserve, and be thankful for everything that happens (1 Thess. 5:18), we will live with much more contentment and joy.

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Joy-killer #1: Sin

The responses to the initial “Joy-Killers” post have been good. Click here to submit your answer to the question, “What do you think are things that kill people’s joy?”

Today I’m going to present the first of a number of joy-killers worth discussing: SIN.

Sin is simply disobedience and disregard of God. Often times we pursue sin in pursuit of pleasure, which makes its joy-killing nature quite ironic. Though many kinds of sin are enjoyable, the results of sin are devastating. Most of the problems we know of today are the direct result of sin: abuse, hatred, greed, betrayal, murder, genocide, and divorce — just to name a few.

Perhaps a good summary of this is Romans 1:28-32

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Why do we sin? Well, there are at least two main answers. First, we are born with a predisposition to sin (a sin nature or what the Bible calls “flesh”). Second, we sin because we want to. Every time I disobey God it is because at that moment I want something more than I want God. I am never forced to sin, nor do I sin against my will. So, at the heart of sin is selfishness — doing what I want regardless of who it affects. When we live this way it not only robs us of joy, but it obviously robs others of joy. Selfish people are never joyful people. 

Next we’ll look at a joy-killer that takes this “sin” thing to an even deeper level. Stay tuned…

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