Ever had the experience of having something life-changingly wonderful happen to you and it’s put you in such a good mood that you are incredibly and cheerfully nice to everyone you encounter, much more so than normally? Maybe a financial windfall, maybe a romantic experience, maybe positive resolution for some oppressive problem that’s been crushing you with worry, etc. What’s happening in that experience is that you have the sense that “all is well” with your life because of this wonderful turn of events. Although it passes soon, you’ve probably had this experience. To me, this is an analogy for the kind of peace/joy that God offers when you come to believe the Truth (the Gospel).
This Truth is so good that it puts you in a great mood and inclines you to spread the happiness around to others in how you treat them. It’s referred to in the Bible as “the joy of my salvation”. It’s also said that the Truth will “set you free” which is a similar reference. BUT, when you don’t know the Truth, so you live in emotional neediness (depression, anxiety, and other negative feelings), you can’t love in the same way as I’ve described above. So, I’ve come to believe that you can’t love others very well until your OWN needs are met. Once they are met to overflowing, the love you shower on others out of your own joy is the highest form of love, I think.
I sometimes worry that readers think I’m just writing Christian blab, perhaps as a way to make myself or others think I’m some kind of towering Christian. Well, know that this is not so. The things I’m writing about, I’ve experienced very first hand and are very real.