Why do little kids like to play with stickers? When my girls were younger, if the grocery clerk would give them stickers it wasn’t long before there were stickers everywhere. Maybe they are trying to improve their world? What is on the sticker appeals to them. They can change things by labeling them. Works for them. We’re supposed to ‘become like little children’. Maybe there’s some wisdom here?
In the Bible, James 1:2 ESV says:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds
When you look in your refrigerator for something to eat you begin to see each item and you begin to categorize it, you’re taking inventory. Maybe you want something sweet and you see the eggs there, in your mind you may say ‘breakfast’ – ‘not sweet!’ – ‘not now!’ Then you find the key-lime pie! (I have some in my fridge right now.) In your mind, if you were to put some word stickers on that pie you might consider these: ‘happy’, ‘yes’, ‘delicious’, ‘tempting’, ‘diet!’, ‘vacation from diet’. There are many ways you might label that pie. Some might say, “I don’t have time to label anything! Where’s the fork?”
James said, in the Bible, to count it all joy when you run into all kinds of trials. Now if someone hands me $100 bill I can see in my mind, taking inventory and putting a ‘joy’ sticker on that. Or if someone served me that key-lime pie on a plate with a fork, I can put a ‘joy’ sticker on that! But, what if someone steps on your toe? OOOWWW!!! Some people yell as loud as they can, making it clear and plain to everyone around them that they are hurt and they want everyone to know it!
Proverbs 12:16 NIV says, Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.
If something angers you or annoys you and you instantly lash out with a strong negative response it most often doesn’t do anyone any good, including yourself. Many times the complaint is a bigger problem than what they are complaining about. In turn complainers can become too much for people to handle.
Years ago I was talking to a mechanic (he obviously wasn’t a very good one) who couldn’t get a light to go off in a car so he broke the light with a screwdriver. He saw the light not going off as his problem, so he fixed his problem. When people complain a lot, they are like a red warning light telling you that something is wrong. The logical thing is to try to fix the problem that is causing the warning light to go off. But people aren’t always logical…some people just want to get rid of the warning light.
If you complain too much about things, you may end up lonely, because people just want to get away from you. We don’t want you to be lonely. God doesn’t want you to be lonely. Loneliness is the first thing in creation that God disapproved of. “It’s not good for man to be alone.”
When you see trials coming your way, any kind of trial, imagine putting a joy sticker on it. Label that thing “JOY!” In your mind call it “Joy”. Now you could, instead, call it “Mighty Problem That Has The Potential To Destroy Me” or “The Thing That Could Ruin My Life.” But if you name it that, then it has the power to become that. In your mind categorize it as a simple problem that you and God can overcome. Remember, it’s not a big deal! Call it Joy. When it comes to problems, remember this phrase: “It came to pass.” It didn’t come to stay.
If you call your problems “Joy” you are giving them way less power to overtake you.
So, today my advice is simple, see a problem? Put a joy sticker on it.
Have a great day!