Extremely religious, legalistic people have a criticism or judgment about everyone and everything. They just have a way of bringing people down with what they say. But as a follower of Christ, you can have joy overflowing that pours out onto others.
God wants to use YOU to make other people happy! And the happier you make others, the happier you will be because you reap what you sow.
First Peter 3:10 says, "For let him who wants to enjoy life and see good days [good―whether apparent or not] keep his tongue free from evil and his lips from guile (treachery, deceit)."
What have you been saying today? Have you been speaking words that help you enjoy life?
Watch out for the joy-stealers: gossip, criticism, complaining, faultfinding, and a negative, judgmental attitude.
With God's help, we can choose words that will only be a blessing to ourselves and others.
David often prayed that God would help him with his mouth. Psalm 19:14 says, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my [firm, impenetrable] Rock and my Redeemer."
Today, I want to encourage you to get into the habit of speaking words of praise and thanksgiving―especially in times of adversity.
What Do You Say After You Pray?
When we're having a problem, we shouldn't ignore it. But it doesn't do us any good to relive it by talking about it repeatedly. Instead, we should pray and say something that will enhance our prayers.
And when others complain to you, talk about the good things. Turn the conversation around. Help set a positive atmosphere.
Jesus said there will be tribulation…and then He said, "Cheer up!"
I've found that when I see and feel it the least, God is often doing the most! And then it seems like He suddenly brings things to pass. So say something positive. Set yourself up to believe God is working.
Maybe you work at a company where there are a few problems that aggravate you on a regular basis. Talking about them won't change anything, but praying could. Remember, God is in control of your circumstances. He will take care of you if you do what you're supposed to do.
The next time you have a trial, be determined to get through it without saying anything negative. Pray and then say something in agreement with what you prayed. If we really believe God's working, then we will see results.
Our Leaders Need Encouragement Too
First Thessalonians 5:12-13 (MSG) tells us to speak positive words about our leaders. It says, "And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!"
Have you ever made a point to exhort a public official who was doing their job right? What about your boss or your spiritual leaders?
When you're in a leadership role, you can never please all of the people all of the time. There's also a lot of responsibility that goes along with it that others may not realize.
Instead of being critical of people in authority over you and envious of their position, be happy you're not responsible for everything they have to do. Instead of piling on complaints, thank them for what they do. Overwhelm them with encouragement and appreciation!
We need to energize the leaders in our life so they don't quit and give up.
You Can Bring Joy to Others Easily
Even the simplest words can make an amazing difference in someone's day, words like please, thank you, forgive me, I'm sorry, I was wrong. Just think how much negative energy and strife could be avoided if we used those words regularly. A whole day could be saved!
When someone makes a mistake, say what you would want them say to you. "It's no problem. Don't worry about it. I make mistakes too." How much better is that than having to remind them of their mistakes?
Proverbs 15:23 says a man has joy in making an apt answer, and a word spoken at the right moment―how good it is!
It's very inexpensive to give a compliment. So form a habit of adding value to everybody you touch in your life.
God's words are full of life and power. And you can make others feel better by bringing His Word to other people in your life.
Look your loved ones in the eye and say, "I appreciate you"―especially if you've been taking them for granted. Remember, you reap what you sow, and you can instantly increase your joy in life if you decide to change your words.