There is one thing I wish Christians were much better at doing: celebrating. We tend to struggle on the whole at really cheering one another on in the faith, demonstrating the character of Christ. I want to challenge you to cultivate an attitude of celebration in your ongoing pursuit of purity.
God designed us for joy! He didn’t design us for anxiety, depression, or gloom. Yet, how often do you find yourself stressed, feeling as if you can’t breathe under the weight of your life? The pace of life, the onslaught of temptation, and uncontrollable circumstances beat you down. But is that reality, or just an excuse?
The truth is that it is simply easier to point out faults than to celebrate victories. One reason for this may be that we are spending more time giving into temptation than we are living in purity. But this does not that mean we must wallow in our sin and shame while moments of faith and resolve go completely unrecognized.
One thing I have found to be true is that the domino effect works in both directions, whether following our lusts or following Christ. The more we give into temptation the easier it becomes to fail more quickly the next time we are faced with a similar situation. Conversely, the more we discipline ourselves to obey Christ, the stronger we become in resisting attacks. Because of this principle I believe it is important that we develop an ongoing attitude of celebration, not only for our own benefit but for the benefit of others.
Jesus was the incarnation of joy. Many times, because of the very serious nature of his mission, salvation of mankind, we tend to picture him sullen and miserable. Last time I checked, I didn’t see throngs of people dashing to see a sullen, miserable person. People were drawn to Jesus because He exuded life. As his followers we are to do the same, and one way we do this is by celebrating the successes we have on our journey.
Here’s the key to celebrating victories: don’t celebrate alone! God wants us connected to Him and to others around us. We can certainly have personal moments of celebration just between us and the Lord, but the ongoing impact of celebration is most often realized in the context of others. Surround yourself with people of celebration who understand how to balance getting excited about doing the right thing and holding you accountable when you stray.
Jonathan – a New Life Network Counselor