Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Merry Follows Gratitude



Have you ever noticed that the season when we focus on gratitude is always followed by the season when we talk about being merry?  And then there is the joy - that elusive thing we equate with this season. You see it everywhere on cards and signs and ornaments.  But where does it come from?  Or more properly, from whence does it come?  :-)

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 I think it is difficult to be merry without being grateful.  When I am finding my thoughts running toward complaints rather than what I have for which to be thankful, I do not have much of a merry heart.  On the other hand, when joy is found in even the most simple of pleasures, then gratitude and merriment is the result. 

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So, is joy at the beginning of the equation or at the end?  Does joy produce a grateful attitude that results in a merry heart?  Or does gratitude produce merriment which results in joy?

I propose that it is a circle.  Sometimes we are grateful out of our joy.  And sometimes, we are grateful out of shear determination to be so.  But, in the end, there is joy. 

And then there is the question of what joy really is.  Is it happiness or a sense of peace that is deeper than just being happy.  I vote for the later.  I find that I can have joy even when I don't have the merry. This is because of the One whose Spirit lives deep in my heart - even when I don't act grateful.
 Eph 3: 16-19


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