Joyful Christian or Sour Christian. There are two kinds of Christians. Which one are you? Ask yourself a question. Which kind of Christian is going to bring more glory to God, more souls to Christ, and have more peace in his life? Decide today which you’ll be and then strive for that identity.
6 Characteristics of the Joyful Christian:
- The Joyful Christian has hope in the future. God plans to prosper us spiritually, now and in the future (Jer 29:11).
- The Joyful Christian has faith, not only in the doctrines of the Faith, but also trust that God is working in her day to day life.
- The Joyful Christian has love for God. She is a disciple because she wants to spend eternity with the one who loves her most: God.
- The Joyful Christian isn’t afraid of failures. Failure reveals opportunity. In the Bible, God’s greatest work comes about through human failure.
- The Joyful Christian rejoices in her identity inside Christ. In Christ we are children of God, royal priests, anointed, blessed, beloved, sacred, liberated, and just. Although we sin, Christ is our primary identity – as St Paul teaches.
- The Joyful Christian lives in the present day. She cannot change the past. She doesn’t know the future. As the Holy Spirit said, “Today if you hear His voice do not harden your heart.” Joy is found in today.
6 Characteristics of the Sour Christian:
- The Sour Christian worries constantly. She fears the future. This makes her anxious all the time.
- She professes all the doctrines of the faith, but struggles to trust that God is working in the complications of each day.
- She says she loves God, but she fears hell more than desiring to be with God in heaven. This leads to scruples, fear, and discouragement.
- She fears failure and ridicule. Shame is a predominant trait.
- She sees herself first as a sinner and only incidentally as belonging in Christ. She sees her identity as under wrath, judged, shamed, and on God the Father’s nerves. Her status with God feel slippery and uncertain.
- The Sour Christian lives in the past or lives in the future. She spends time every day regretting the past. She loves to the play the game “what if.” What if I married someone else? What if I became a nun? What if I hadn’t done that sin? Because she wallows in the past, she fears the future. She worries about tomorrow, next week, next year, and the next decade. The future looks grim. She grows more and more sour.
The Sour Christian may claim to be the “light of the world and the salt of the earth” (as Christ taught) but she pours so much salt on the food, nobody wants to eat it.
Which are you? Perhaps a mixture of both.
Strive to be the Joyful Christian. I sincerely believe that the joyful Christian is what our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ desires to see in us. Don’t agree, then check out what the Bible teaches:
Our first Pope wrote:
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9)
King Solomon wrote:
“The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.” (Proverbs 10:28)
Saint Paul wrote:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of our Lord sang:
“And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!” (Luke 1:47)
Most importantly, our Savior said before His Passion:
“Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.“ (John 16:22)
Remember, no one can take away your supernatural joy in Christ…but you can surrender it. God won’t force you to experience His joy, but He has and is doing everything to provide it to you. Receive it.
Question: I wrote this article chiefly as a reminder for myself. I’m usually joyful, but I’ve been feeling discouraged (ahem, sour) lately. Are you a joyful or sour Christian? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Do you enjoy Dr. Taylor Marshall’s posts? If so please sign up for his free email posts and get his latest ebook free: click here.