Stop! Thief! Is Your Joy Being Robbed?
It was a few days before Christmas and my husband, baby boy and I pulled into the driveway of our home to find the front door standing wide open. The interior was dark and silent but our hearts pounded wildly at the thought of dangerous intruders remaining inside.
The rotten culprits were long gone, along with all of our possessions that had any financial value. TV, sound system, a couple simple pieces of jewelry I loved…disappeared. They even opened all the wrapped presents under the tree and took the ones they like. For Pete’s sake, can you imagine. I wondered how to feel about the few rejects remaining in a heap on the floor.
We’ve always worked hard for our paychecks and this robbery represented many, many hours of labor. Things that we enjoyed were missing. Things we were excited to give to others, gone. It was a crummy feeling.
John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Most of us have experienced theft of nonmaterial things as well as appliances, vehicles and money. We are robbed blind of joy, patience, contentment, laughter, faith, hope, love and peace.
It recently came to my attention that the thief isn’t always Satan (as most of us old-timer have believed). That pesky evil villain can come in lots of forms, especially if we’re not on high alert… and let’s be honest; who is?
The bandits can look like someone you’d want to hang out with, not some rude, smelly guy you want to run from. The perpetrators I’m referring to include TV, social media, the almighty dollar (greed), work (exhaustion/stress), excess of shiny stuff (and wanting more) and self-loathing disguised as humility- just to name a few.
The worse news is that we typically invite these devious distractions into our lives with full access…a welcome mat and a key to the door. I’ve sent invitations to all of the above throughout my life. By the time I recognized that I’d let the fox inside the henhouse I’d already let some of my favorite things be taken.
What have I lost to “thieves”? To name a few; kindness, patience, self-control, mercy, self-esteem, hope and peace. Those are priceless treasures that I pretty much handed over freely by spending too much time indulging in things that are not significant to God’s plan for my life.
Don’t get your panties in a knot because you’re feeling guilty. That’s not my intent. God is so good and fully able to transform any bad choice into something beautiful and worthwhile. Get ahold of that truth and be honest with yourself about the stinkin’ robbers you may have given easy access to your life. Once you’ve IDed the bad guys, slowly make them take up less real estate in your home and heart.
Reclaim and regain your stolen property.
When thieves broke in and messed up our lives a bit that Christmas, we saw them for what they were and made changes to prevent a repeat visit. Family and friends stood beside us and helped us get back on track.
Just be reminded that there are thieves lying in wait for each of us but with a little self-awareness we can avoid being robbed. Don’t let meaningless distractions steal what matters most.
Authored By Diane Markins