July 8, 2009


God has been working in me on this idea of second-hand joy. I know it sounds rather mundane, but it is an aspect that is enhancing my view and understanding of God. It is also drawing me closer to God.

Have you ever enjoyed someone else's joy as if it were your own? This is what I would call second-hand joy. In Heaven: A World of Love by Jonathan Edwards he talks about the pure joy of saints in heaven toward each other. This second-hand love is one of the aspects we will experience in heaven.

It looks like this: your friend receives a blessing from or has a closer relationship with God and you see their joy in God. But you are not just joyful for their blessing, you experience joy on the same level as them. It is God blessing you through blessing them.

This may seem like a simple or ordinary thing for you, but it is profound for me. I am one who can do things for myself. I use my talents and abilities to accomplish what I want or get what I want or need. Most often I succeed. However, this is my great "respectable" sin.

This leads me to dependence on myself, not on God. This usually stems from pride and selfishness. But second-hand joy is God's way of showing me that joy comes from Him. True joy can not be made or worked up.

Enjoying God with someone else vicariously is a way for God to show me I don't need to make sure my joy is completed. It puts the ownership of joy in His hands. That is where I find all I need.

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