I love to see people having fun. Whether it’s a group of friends outside a building, a mother playing with her kids at a park, or a dad tickling his children, pure, wholesome fun is . . . well, fun to watch.

Joy is contagious, or at least it should be. I was recently reminded of this devotion I wrote for the book The One Year Life Verse Devotional by Jay Payleitner.

If you let it, joy will multiply like rabbits! On a trip home from the store, my three young children and I were singing. I was clapping, doing hand motions, and dancing along with my children–at least as much as one can while driving a car. I was enjoying the moment, and as I listened to my children, my joy increased.

I noticed a car behind us and wondered how much of our shenanigans the driver could see. At first I was self-conscious, but then I giggled and smiled, thinking about him and others who have seen the way our lives overflow with jot. Of course, I may never meet that driver, but I’m a certain that if he did catch a glimpse of our “dancing,” he smiled too.

That day in the car, God reminded me of a man in the Bible who dance without giving thought to anyone else: “David danced before the Lord with all his might” (2 Smauel 6:14). When David’s wife Michal, the daughter of Saul, rebuked him, David said, “I was dancing before the Lord . . . and I am wiling to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes!” (2 Samuel 6:21-22). Perhaps David understood better than anyone else what God seeks when He asks us to love Him with all our heart, soul, and strength.

Psalm 100Sometimes, the expectations of others weigh us down. Many times in my own life, it wasn’t actually their expectations but only the expectations I thought they had that burdened me. But whether these expectations are real or not, we need to find freedom from them. We need to seek God first and meet His expectations, to be ourselves and to enjoy Him.

To find His joy . . . and to be contagious.

What expectation from others do you need to cast off today?


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