The first passage in today’s post comes from the Second Letter to the Corinthians:
6 The point is this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written,
“He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures for ever.”
10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your resources[c] and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way for great generosity, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God; 12 for the rendering of this service not only supplies the wants of the saints but also overflows in many thanksgivings to God.
(2 Cor 9:6-12)
As I’ve mentioned before, I much better at not doing wrong than I am at doing good. Passages like this remind me that if I want there to be good in my life, I need to do good as well. Otherwise, I am expecting to reap bountifully while having sowed sparingly, and that is foolish indeed. I need to sow righteous seeds into all areas of my life if I wish my future to be one I would want to harvest.
The second passage is from the Letter to the Philippians:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. 6 Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.
I am not a joyful person. Never have been. Just not part of my overall personality. Not that I cannot be happy from time to time, but I have never really been joyful as it is properly understood. I’ve long recognized my trouble finding joy is a real weakness of mine, but its been one that I’ve not been able to quash. I have tried for a long time, and will continue yet to embrace a spirit of joy. God willing I will find it eventually.
However, I have made progress in what I spend my time thinking about. I’ve tried to adopt a much more positive attitude in recent years, and to not focus on what is wrong in life. And to a large extent I’ve succeeded. I am much less likely to wallow in negative thoughts these days, and I can see that it has benefit my life. While there is plenty out there which is worthy of trepidation and despair, giving into to those feelings never makes things better. Quite the opposite. Whether or not my life takes a turn for the better, my change in attitude has certainly led me to feel better about life. And that shows the true wisdom found in the Apostle’s words.