Let’s talk about our Joy, Junk, & Jesus.
I picked up my old Bible the other day. The one I used when our children were growing up.
I’ve always kept it in a cute fabric case so the cover still looks clean and undamaged. But the pages are a different story. They’re covered with notes and stickers. A few have scribbles from my little artists and many include finger smudges.
Sometimes you and I feel like that old Bible.
We can do a pretty good job of only revealing our covers, the part we work to keep looking clean and undamaged.
We don’t want our friends and acquaintances to see the scribbles and smudges on the pages of our stories. We definitely don’t want them to see permanently damaged pages that they might criticize or judge. So, we keep the covers clean and our stories hidden.
And social media doesn’t help. It’s the perfect place for us to only show our “friends” the things we want them to see. So, we post our family portraits and travel photos . . . the happy, beautiful, exciting, and enviable parts of our lives. The parts that look clean and undamaged. And even when we reveal our mishaps and mayhem we’re careful not to reveal too much.
We don’t want to be judged or criticized. We just want to be affirmed with thumbs up, hearts, and kind comments.
All of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.1 Peter 3:8
What if you and I could show the world a better way? What if we showed them the blessing of real caring and friendship? What if we set an example of being truly connected, caring, and loving?
I believe too many of us are living behind screens afraid to expose what’s “real” while longing for friends with whom we can truly be ourselves.
We want people who will celebrate our joys with us. We want them to listen, care, understand, and pray when we struggle with life’s junk.
And we want them to encourage us with the love of Jesus.
I know it’s not easy. Especially if we’ve been hurt or betrayed in the past.
Here’s a simple way some friends and I have gotten to know each other better while safely sharing our struggles and encouraging one another with the prayer and the love of Christ Jesus.
3 Questions to Share Your Joy, Junk, & Jesus
1. Where did you experience joy this week?
Share something that made you happy. Something fun. Something that blessed you.
You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done.Psalm 92:4
I love this quote by St. Augustine…
“When large numbers of people share their joy in common, the happiness of each is greater because each adds fuel to the other’s flame.”
2. What was your junk?
How can I pray for you? – Where are you struggling? What are you worried about? What hurt your heart? What caused you pain?
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.Galatians 6:2
You, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit.Jude 1:20
3. Where did you see Jesus? –
How did you experience His love, grace, and mercy? Where did you notice beauty? When did you receive His help?
Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.Ephesians 3:20
A Prayer to Share Your Story
of God’s Love
Father, You are so very good. You generously give me reasons to live with joy. You mercifully give me the strength I need to endure life’s junk. And You graciously love me, through Jesus who sustains, encourages, and saves me.
You have always been with me . . . watching over me as my story is being written. (Psalm 121:5) You have never left me nor have you forsaken me. (John 14:16) You go before me and follow me. (Psalm 139:5) Through the joy and the junk, Jesus is with me.
I pray that You will surround me with kind and caring people. Help me share my story in ways that will bless and encourage those who need to know the ways you have faithfully blessed me with joy and given me everything I needed to endure through my story’s junk. Most importantly, help me show everyone the ways Jesus is written on every page. I love you, Lord. I thank and praise You now and always. Amen.
Joy, Junk, & Jesus!
Open the book and share your story. Use it to bless and encourage the people around you.
Give them an opportunity to rejoice with you and pray for you. Tell them about the ways Jesus has helped, strengthened, encouraged, and blessed you.
May God be with you and bless you as you share your story at home, at work, in your neighborhood, at church, and online.
We would love to pray for you.
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