Wax on. Wax off.
Historically, I’ve made the assumption that all people want to experience more joy. So when I recommended a simple action step in last week’s blog (read Matthew 5-6 and John 14-17 once through), I was surprised how few people were willing to publicly commit to taking that step.
Four possible reasons for this come to mind:
1. Some people don’t want more joy. “Status quo is just fine, thank you very much.” This is completely reasonable. The truth of human behavior change is that people won’t change, unless the pain of today -- or the allure of a better tomorrow -- is powerful enough to push people through the change effort.
2. Some people want more joy, but they’ve given up hope they’ll ever attain it. Hopelessness and victim mentalities are lethal in every aspect of life. My heart breaks for what these people must be going through, but I feel I’m least equipped to help these kinds of people.
3. Some people don’t want to commit to something publicly that they might not follow through on. I really respect this. To me this shows integrity. “I want to do this, but there is a 2% chance I may not follow through so I can’t in all good faith commit that I will.” As my Aussie friends would say “Good on ya, mate!”
4. Some people don’t see the correlation between the recommendation and end goal of more joy. One of my good friends (not a follower of Christ) once said to me, “Jeff, no one understands my discontent problem better than you, but I’m just not buying your solution.” The best analogy I can come up with for this scenario is the movie “The Karate Kid.” Remember how Mr. Miyagi had his young karate protégé doing all sorts of nonsensical things (“Wax on. Wax off.”) that, in end, developed priceless disciplines leading to excellence?
It’s these last two groups of people I want to keep encouraging and equipping.
If you fall into this category, and you did the reading last week, here’s my next recommendation: Re-read those same scriptures again and write down three ways that you just know that you know you need to start thinking or acting differently. Now do those things for 7 days straight.
See you next week. “Wax On. Wax off.”
“A coach is someone who tells you what you don't want to hear, who has you see what you don't want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.” Legendary football coach, Tom Landry