Thanks for following the series on joyful living. I like to share another Another key that is as important as contentment to joyful living and that is Godliness.
In the true sense of it, this is an attitude or character that is guided by the principle of fear and genuine love of God. It involves having the nature of God in the heart; having the form of God and the power thereof.
“A godly person has the image and nature of God in him, this automatically causes an inflow of ever flowing joy.”
Whatever does not have God in it cannot bring joy. A godless wealth brings sorrow, so does godless relationships and every other thing.
Godliness can easily be identified by the following characteristics, among others.
1. Eschewing Evil
“The Lord said to Satan, “hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God and eschew evil?” (Job 1:8).
Every good thing brings about good things and so does evil thing. To eschew evil is to deliberately avoid evil no matter how pleasant it appears (even if it is packaged in the garment of righteousness).
Job is an example of godliness. He was perfect, upright and feared God. He refused to curse God in the midst of his challenges. Joseph also avoided evil that would have truncated his destiny.
Considering the lives of these two people, they had exceeding joy in their lives despite what they went through while avoiding evil. There is nothing good in evil and it can only bring sorrow.
2. Develop Hatred for Sin
“… But sin is a reproach” says Pro 14:34. God hates sin because its end is destruction, sorrow and everlasting peril. No wonder David said: “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful” (Psalm 1:1).
Sin is every way which “Seemeth right unto a man but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 16:25). Dwelling in sin is already an application and call for sorrow.
3. Engaging the Force of Love
Another characteristic of godliness is love. God is love and a joyful life must be characterized with love, the agape love. Absence of love makes room for several evils noticed in the world today.
Wickedness, selfishness, corruption, cheating, stealing and other vices are all found where love is absent. Love brings unending joy and every good thing that can be thought of.
4. Building Healthy Relationships
God created man to be social. Man was made to relate with God, nature and other human beings around. Nobody is expected to be an island but we are meant to be relational.
There is no need being at loggerhead with your colleagues at work or your neighbours at home because it doesn’t bring joy. It puts you on your toes. It makes you to be suspicious and confined.
No wonder we were admonished to follow peace with ALL men according to Hebrews 12:2. Whosoever will not embrace the blessings and joy kept in relationship might get disturbed, moody, sick and depressed. Such a person will be overwhelmed with sorrow and if not addressed on time might result to death.
“The relationship that will bring joy must be godly and focused.”
There is a need to create such if you it doesn’t exist around you yet. Critical examination must also be done to scrutinize the existing relationships to see if they have the attribute of being godly and focus.
It must ultimately be understood that strict application of the keys mentioned earlier without relationship with Jesus brings no joy now and hereafter.
Jesus is the source of joy, light of the world, hope for the hopeless and the reason to live. No matter what one possesses without Jesus is vanity upon vanity.
A life that is constantly in touch with Jesus is a joyful one. This relationship entails regular fellowship with Him in prayers, waiting on Him and listening to Him as well as studying and meditating on the word of God.
If you are yet to know Him, He is standing at the door of your heart with His everlasting joy, knocking ( See Revelation 3:20). Just give Him a place in your heart and He will flood your life with rivers of joy.