Earlier this year we went to Disneyland on a family trip. My stepson, Eric, loves anything Disney. His favorite character is Mickey Mouse, and he often tells me he wants to go to work at Disney (it doesn’t matter to him if it’s Disneyland or Disney World) as Mickey Mouse. He can’t think of a job more fun than dressing up like the famous rodent and greeting children all day.
His joy in the parks is contagious. It doesn’t matter which ride we’re on, at that moment, it’s his favorite. He loves the scary rides like Tower of Terror and the scenic rides like It’s a Small World. No matter how long we’re in the park, he never complains about his feet hurting or about being tired.
My goal is to have that contagious joy in my daily life without complaining, yet I often fall way short. I want people to see the hope, joy, and love of Christ when they look at me, but all to often, I’m not lovable or loving. As Paul said in Acts: “18 I know there is nothing good in my sinful nature. I want to do what is good, but I can’t. 19 I don’t do the good things I want to do. I keep on doing the evil things I don’t want to do. 20 I do what I don’t want to do. But I am not really the one who is doing it. It is sin living in me.”
As Christians, we are still human. We’re going to mess up. At times we will do the things we don’t want to do and not do those we want to do. Does that mean we’re hopeless? No, but maybe when we find ourselves being judgmental, unloving, or even downright hateful, we’ll turn from it, ask forgiveness, and forgive ourselves. On the flip side, when others hurt us, maybe we’ll realize we are all sinners and all do hurtful, sinful things, and we’ll be very quick to forgive those who hurt us.