“The more I understand about what’s bugging me and free myself of that, the more I am able to embrace opportunities for joy.”
Reflection is one habit I struggle to incorporate in my daily life and within ministry. I think it’s because I don’t really believe in its benefits. I know the truth in my head, but it hasn’t quite reached my heart. In the book Be Kind to Yourself by Cindy Bunch, the author encourages the readers to ask themselves two questions at the end of each day: What’s bugging you? What’s bringing you joy? Often, these help us acknowledge when we feel far from God and when we feel close to Him. Noticing these highlights brings freedom and wholeheartedness to our lives.
If I gloss over my day in a hurry to move on to the next one, and not bring closure to what is bugging me, I will miss what God is trying to teach me. Sometimes what is bugging me is seeing an attitude within me that I know is not pleasing to God. When the Holy Spirit convicts me of sin, it is wise to bring that sin before my holy Father, confess it, repent, and tell Him how sorry I am for sinning in that way, and then ask for and receive His forgiveness. Acknowledging my failure to please God through the acts of confession and repentance, release me from the shame the enemy wants to inflict upon me.
If offense is what’s bugging me, then bringing my hurt and emotional pain to God to receive His comfort and enablement to forgive those who have hurt me, frees me from being emotionally connected to the offender. Sometimes, what’s bugging me, comes from my belief in a lie about God or about myself. At that point, discerning the truth will pay great dividends. Noticing any resistance within my heart might be God’s way to point to an area that He desires to heal.
Becoming aware of what gives you joy helps you discern how God has created you and where God’s assignment may be for your life. The instances that bring us joy are those we need to embrace and express gratefulness to God.
It’s helpful each evening to pray Psalm 139:23-24. “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Considering what’s bugging you provides a chance to release it, so it no longer controls or consumes you. Pondering what brings you joy is an opportunity to discover your identity, who God created you to be. Answering both questions deepens your union with God.
“As we learn new ways of dealing with the moments of difficulty in each day, we make space for the moments of joy to take greater hold of us.”
What is bugging you and what is bringing you joy today?