“Hey, can I talk to you for a minute? I have to confess something. I haven’t been able to stand you ever since I started coming to this church. There is something about your perkiness and your energy that just rubs me the wrong way. When you are up on the platform I put up a wall in my spirit and want nothing to do with you.”
You may be shocked to read this, but I’ve heard it many times. In fact, I love it!! After one of the services where I was preaching a few weeks ago, a woman I didn’t know came up to me, said this, and went onto say…
“I just didn’t believe it was real. I didn’t think you could say something that would touch me or effect me in any way. But I have to repent to you. I was wrong. I am sorry. Today the wall broke and I was so impacted by your message. I know that who you are and what you carry is real. I just needed to tell you that. And thank you for being you.”
Yup. Heard it before, and I’ll hear it again. I celebrate when this happens! Because here’s the thing…..
I know that the joy I carry can be offensive.
The enemy of our souls wants us to believe that the joy of the Lord isn’t real. That the purity of love is a facade. That no one could be that happy all the time. And in a small way, he’s right. I am not that happy all the time – but I am always joyful.
So why is joy offensive? The enemy’s voice tries to be louder than my joy and say to someone, “You’ll never have what she has. And plus, is it even real?!” That voice causes disdain and offense to creep in, it rubs people the wrong way and suddenly a wall is built.
I have never claimed to be a happy-maker, I am a joy bringer. That means that I proclaim the good news of Jesus and release the power of joy that comes from spirit of the God. I am not interested in your happiness, nor am I focused on always being happy. I set myself right in the middle of the fountain of love flowing from the throne of God and my goal is to release what’s flowing through me.
A marker of joy is freedom. Everywhere Jesus went he left a wake of freedom and joy. Joy comes as a result of chains being broken and the release from bondage. But those who are unaware of their bondage have a hard time coming face to face with my joy, let alone receiving their own! That may also be offensive. I am not sorry.
I don’t mind being bold – taking a risk – and saying that offense to joy is a sign of bondage. Notice I did not say that you not liking me is a sign of bondage. I give you permission to not like me, that’s okay! But I want to encourage you, if you do feel an aversion towards me, check it. Why?
I compare it to those who mock or look down on the Polllyannas of life. Pollyanna was an optimist. She didn’t deny the bad, she just looked for and focused on the good. Those who didn’t like her were under the influence of the lie that they couldn’t have what she had….then, because she was fearless of their disdain, they did experience joy for themselves and the whole town was transformed!
The benefits of being a joy bringer are great…but it also has consequences. People judge me. They write me off as being fake, shallow, or annoying. But I’m not bothered by that. I know it’s not personal. I know where it comes from and I bless people where they are and trust the Lord to do the work. He cares even more about your joy than I do. The thing that I find so precious is that the Lord moves people to actually confess to me how they’ve felt! And for as many people that have done that, there are MANY more who wont (and they don’t need to!).
Yes, my joy can be loud, but that doesn’t mean it is always at a 10. Joy can be peaceful and quiet…and while my joy tends to be outward and booming, that doesn’t mean yours will.
Your joy will look like you.
My joy isn’t offensive because it’s loud, it only highlights what you believe. If you believe the lie that joy isn’t for you, then you will not like the noise my joy makes. It will rattle and clang in your ears. But if you are open to the truth that joy is for you and that there is no limit to the joy you can have, then I encourage you to take it! Grab hold of the joy that is offered to you in endless supply from the original Joy Bringer himself, Jesus.
If you are one who has been offended by my joy, I bless you.
If you are one who wants more joy, I bless you.
If you are one who needs to know that your joy will look like you, I bless you.
I bless you to know the truth that joy is for you.