Verse of the Week
“Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! (Psalm 96:11–12a, ESV)
We could all use a little more celebration. I am the type of person who is too serious. I get focused on the tasks at hand and the problems that need to be solved. I finish one project, and I am off to the next project. There is not much time for celebration. When everything is so serious, it becomes easy to miss the little things. It becomes easy to miss the opportunities to celebrate.
Celebrating is taking the time to reflect on what has been accomplished rather than always dwelling on what needs to be accomplished. Look at the above verse. It says to be glad, to rejoice, to roar, and to exult. Those are words of joy and celebration. It is a call for all creation to celebrate and “everything in it.” And we are part of everything in it.
1. Celebrate God
I often carry my seriousness over to my relationship with God. I get so focused on “doing for him” I miss out on “celebrating him.” Part of being in relationship with someone involves working together, and also celebrating together. God doesn’t want my good works as much as he wants me.
The fact that we can have a relationship with God is reason to celebrate. I celebrate that he has looked upon me with mercy even though I don’t deserve it. I celebrate that he has given me salvation. The things he has accomplished for me are all too wonderful!
2. Celebrate Yourself
Celebrate that you are a child of God. Celebrate your experiences and what God has enabled you to accomplish. Celebrate the challenges in life to see them as opportunities for God to demonstrate his grace.
Reward yourself. You crush that last exercise session, give yourself a cookie. You aced a test with flying colors, give yourself permission to goof off for a little bit. Even if you come up short of your expectations, celebrate what you did accomplish.
Sometimes we plan events at church. We put a lot of effort into preparing for that event. But when the event happens, we don’t get the participation that we had hoped. It becomes easy to become upset and disappointed. But rather than focusing on the people who did not show up, celebrate the people who did come. It may not have been as many people as we wanted to see, but we can celebrate that the people who did come will experience something special.
3. Celebrate Others
Celebrate the people in your life. Look for ways to praise others. You are rarely going to motivate someone through criticism. We celebrate people on their birthdays and other special occasions, but what about celebrating others when they don’t expect it? We all face enough criticism. We would do well heap praise on others around us. The best thing about praise is that it is not a limited resource. There is always more to be found. You will never regret complimenting someone. When you look for ways to celebrate others rather than criticize others it will do something in you as much as it will do something in them.
What can you do today to celebrate? How can you celebrate the goodness of God in your life? How can you reward yourself for what God has accomplished through you? How can you find opportunity to compliment the people around you?