When Preacher continued his sermons on “joy,” I realized that I was letting people steal my joy. People can disappoint us and bring us grief (that includes me). Philippians 2:3 says, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” The answer to joy in spite of people is the submissive mind.
When others have hurt me with their comments, I have to realize I have done the same. Sometimes as soon as I’ve said something, I wish I could take it back. I have to believe other people feel the same way. There are other times when I’ve said something that came across as insensitive when I didn’t mean it that way. Matthew Henry in his commentary said, “We must be quick in observing our own defects and infirmities but ready to overlook and make favourable allowances for the defects of others.”
Not only did I let people rob me of my joy with their comments, I also let their good fortune steal my joy. I remember thinking, “I’m happy for all of those women who are pregnant. I just want it to happen to me, too!” The truth is I was really just concerned about my own self. Philippians 2:4 tells us, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Again, Matthew Henry said, “We must interest ourselves in the concerns of others in Christian love; rejoice in the prosperity of others as truly as in our own.”
Christ has been good to us. He comforts us and shows compassion. We should be like-minded. Experiencing the pain of infertility hopefully has made us more sensitive to others who hurt. We can also pray for others, especially other women who are experiencing infertility, too, and rejoice with them when God blesses.
Our Adult Bible Class is currently going through a series on the Book of Philippians. Our teacher posed this question last week: “Am I a joy-giver or a joy-stealer?” I had been focusing on people who took my joy; I should have been thinking of how I could give joy to others and been careful not to steal their joy.
Wiersbe said, “It takes faith to exercise the submissive mind. We must believe that God’s promises are true and that they are going to work in our lives just as they worked in Paul’s life. God works in us through the Word, prayer, and suffering; and we work out in daily living and service. God fulfills His purposes in us as we receive and believe His Word. Life is not a series of disappointing “ups and downs.” Rather it is a sequence of delightful “ins and outs.” God works in – we work out! The example comes from Christ, the energy comes from the Holy Spirit, and the result is – JOY!”