Reading time: two minutes. It’s the joy of the Lord that keeps us going, despite the sacrifices and hardships. Joy is fuel for ministry. The joy of living in the grace of God is always primary. That’s our foundation. The joy of God’s blessing on the work of ministry is also wonderful, but fleeting. Jesus warned his disciples not to rejoice over ministry success alone, but to find their joy in their names being written in heaven (see Luke 10:20). Emotional wellness is characterized by the fruit of the Spirit which is peace. When relationships at home and at church are filled with grace, respect and mutual forgiveness, there is peace, and there is the joy of peaceful partnerships. But nothing can take the joy out of life quicker than broken relationships. Conflicted relationships are like blisters. They’re the last thing you think about as you are (trying!) to drift off to sleep at night, and the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning. If a bad mood creeps into that zone between two people, that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you see that certain someone across the room, or when you know you’ll see them later today, it changes your entire emotional state of being. We’re naturally, often subconsciously, pretty good at avoiding those people, but avoiding the person is really only avoiding the conflict. Someone’s been hurt; likely both of you. Left unattended, the blister of rubbing someone the wrong way, or being rubbed the wrong way, only gets infected until it makes life unbearable. There is no peace. But we were created for peace. It’s the gift Jesus came to bring, pouring out his life on the cross for all of the words and all of the deeds and all of the broken promises that rub us and the people around us the wrong way. On the night before he went to the cross, he promised the disciples a gift: the gift of peace. Where’s the rub in your life these days? I hope that no one comes to mind, that you’d have to run down everyone in your contact file before you found a relationship marked with friction. That’s a gift that should bring you great peace, and the joy that follows healthy relationships. If someone does come to mind, I’m praying that you’ll find ways to have the difficult conversation that leads to repentance and forgiveness, for when the peace is restored, when the blister is healed, when the mood changes back again, there is joy. And joy keeps us going. Thanks for reading. Our ministry is made possible by the generous donations of people just like you. Click here to discover how simple it is to make your gift of any size to Grace Place Wellness. Do you know someone who might be interested in becoming a major benefactor to sponsor a retreat in your area? Our President/CEO Randy Fauser would love to hear from you today!