Wednesday, April 19, 2006

MORE Calm Down! Cheer Up!

Previously we looked at verses in Philippians 4 for biblical insight into how we can calm down and cheer up.

But we didn't look at Philippians 4:8 at that time:

Finally, Brethren whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy -- meditate on these things.

The lovely phrases in Philippians 4:8 have always intimidated me. I knew that if I could get hold of the truth there I could, "Calm Down!" and "Cheer Up!"but somehow I just couldn't make them mine. Then I read John 16:33 (Be of good cheer!) and a light dawned: what God wants me to do is be full of good news, news that gladdens my heart. I don't have to figure out all the phrases in Philippians 4:8 -- instead, asking the Holy Spirit for help, I focus on being full of good news, one thought at a time, one event at a time. (But not to the extent of ignoring reality. See previous post, Opening Our Hearts to God.)

I used to get irritated when I went into a little store where the shelves and checkout stand were covered with injunctions to "Smile" and commands to "Cheer Up!" and such. Maybe that works for you, but it frustrated me. I found the words there to be like the Law. It can tell me what to do, but it can't help me do it. On a painful day, my willpower just wasn't enough to lift me up and keep me there. In God's word and by the enlightenment and empowerment of His Holy Spirit, I have found a way that works.

1 comment:

Bear 2 said...

Calm down and cheer up. The child in this picture seems to understand. When you are in an uproar and do stuff, like put your glasses on upside down, then that is not the end of the matter. Cheer up God knows and has all under control.