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Humility and Emotional Wellness!

Reading time: two minutes. Easter is joy.  Lent is our time of reflection on all that would steal the joy from us.  It’s a powerful and important reflection.  The joy of Easter glows brighter because of the contrast with the sadness of Lent. Lutherans take a lot of ribbing about the serious way we engage in the Lenten journey, some of it humorously self-inflicted.  We laugh at sayings like, “For Lutherans, every day is like… Lent!” We can laugh because we are people of joy.  We’re Easter people. It’s how we endure the sadness over sin and the impending threat of death.  That sounds pretty emotionally healthy to me.  God’s natural emotion is joy, and made in His image, so is ours.  My favorite definition of joy suggests that joy is simply the gift of the Spirit that results from seeing Jesus in His splendor doing what He does: blessing, saving, giving peace and hope through the forgiveness of sins. Our joy will never be complete until we stand fully in the presence of God and see His wondrous works in all their beauty, but we get glimpses of that joy along the way on this journey of faith. Sin causes sadness.  That’s the story of Lent.  This is a time of being realistic about who we are and about how our behavior has brought sadness into our lives and sadness into the lives of others and sadness into our lives because we’ve caused sadness in others. Someone taught me long ago that there is a difference between, “I’m sorry” and “I was wrong.”  You can say “I’m sorry” without really admitting that you were wrong.  “I’m sorry you got your feelings hurt.”  “I’m sorry you don’t get it.”  “I’m sorry you’re so stubborn and bullheaded that you think I was wrong.” Those are words of darkness.  Those are words that only diminish the joy. Saying “I was wrong” takes true humility.  I means facing the darkness and admitting the reality of my own sin.  It’s Lent.  It’s Good Friday.  It’s true repentance. And thanks to God’s grace and the gift of forgiveness in Jesus, it leads to joy when we hear those most blessed words, “Christ is risen!  You are forgiven!  Go in joy!” As we draw near to the end of the darkness of this Lenten season and prepare for the fullness of joy at Easter, I hope you will fully enter this time of repentance so that you also, a dispenser of grace, might know it fully yourself. And knowing God’s gift of joy, joyfully share it with those you serve. Thanks for reading.  Subscribe to Blog A Congregational Wellness Weekend is designed to help create a ministry environment at your church or school where professional church workers can thrive and serve joyfully in their calling at top capacity. Let’s start the conversation today! Find more information on our website or contact Program Director Darrell Zimmerman to learn more.