Our culture promises illusory joys and transient distractions that for a moment make us feel happy enough to forget our anxieties, stresses, detachments, and brokenness. But like a sugar high and the crash that follows, the high of that kind of happiness is fleeting.
Joy, though, is a different matter altogether.
Joy is a state of mind defined not by the present moment, but by the recognition that there is something beyond us that makes us more than we think we are, a contentment that we are loved no matter what, a perspective that defines us with worth.
To live joyfully is to live alternatively to the status quo, to be aligned with something other than the temporality of our culture or our present moment.
This message is excerpted from the Bible study “No hard feelings” by Anna Madsen in the November 2019 Gather magazine.
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