My Crown of Joy
We can all struggle with the tendency to become annoyed with people. Little nuances like; how a person chews, clicks that pen in a meeting, drives, or whistles all day long can make you feel like someone is running their nails on an old fashioned chalkboard. As Christians, we strive to keep our cool, and keep ourselves in check. We know we are to “love our neighbor as our self” (Matt. 19:19), but some days, frankly, that can seem far reaching. We know we should “value others above ourselves” (Phil. 2:3), but it’s just that it! It is our “self” that gets in the way, where selfishness can take over, pushing the other person’s needs and desires aside.
I came across a verse when reading in Philippians one day. It may have been one we have all glossed over in the past. An introductory phrase, yet, I know that every word of the Lord is true and for our teaching and training (2 Tim 3:16). Let me share with you an image from this one little verse in Philippians.
Philippians 4:1. Paul is in the end of a letter to his dear friends and it reads like this. “You…are my joy and my crown, stand fast in the Lord my beloved.” So simple, and yet so thought-provokingly profound!! What a way to view one another!
You are my JOY!
You are my CROWN!
You are my BELOVED!
This image is a perspective that must shift the current mindset when the cashier at the grocery store isn’t going fast enough for you, or the precious saint of God at church just said something very hurtful about you.
Hebrews 12:2 reminds our hearts, that we were the JOY set before the Savior as He hung on the cross. Even in His pain, we were gladness and joy to Him. And in reference back to Phil 4:1, Paul is encouraging the believers to stand firm in their faith. Scripture reminds us that “iron sharpens iron” (Prov. 27:17), and “two are better than one; a three cord strand is not easily broken” (Ecc. 4:9, 12). How fitting for us to lift one another up, and position one another for royalty, loving and leading one another closer to Jesus.
If you wore a crown upon your head, representing one of your loved ones, a sister in Christ, or even a person who is hard to love, how would it affect your day-to-day living? Imagine cooking dinner or unloading the dryer? Changing a diaper, or driving a car? Sitting in a meeting at work? Would you do things with more grace and poise to keep the crown balanced upon your head, or get frustrated and chuck that thing to the side?!
Queen Elizabeth, our friend across the pond, has the pleasure of donning a crown to special family affairs. This exquisite crown is just shy of 3 pounds, which may seem light, but balancing a 3 pound shoe on your head, or anything of that matter, would take practice. Yet, her crown hosts rubies, precious stones, and not to mention, a 317 carat diamond! Yep, you read that correctly. See, a crown has worth. Your sister in the Lord has worth. Place her on top of your head rather than on your foot, give her a place of honor. Positioning her correctly on your noggin gives sight lines to all who see you, and her. The way you carry her, displays her worth. The way you speak of her gives others permission to speak of her in that same way.
No one would want to wear a crown with a messed up hairdo. If I were to wear a crown, I would take time to fix my hair appropriately to enhance the headpiece. And then, of course, if the hair is right, I would work on my make-up, jewelry, outfit, all the way down to the shoes!! The crown sets the tone for what is pillared beneath it, and what is pillared beneath only enhances the crown.
Imagine if a royal was seen out for their daily jog sporting the crown? It would be splattered all over the news and tabloids. “How dare they not give proper attention to the crown?” (Reread that previous sentence in your best Brit accent! …Good, now you can proceed…) Paul is highlighting this same truth to our hearts in his delivery as he so sweetly calls his friends and co-laborers in Christ, his joy, crown and beloved. The greater your love and joy for your sister in Christ, the more value you put upon them. As the value increases, you will see a shift in the way you think, move, act and respond to God’s people. You will begin to see them for who they are and Whose they are. You will protect the crown, and watch the way you move, and balance your actions and words towards them. Then your heart will truly say; “YOU are my JOY, my CROWN and my BELOVED.”
About the Author:
With Jesus, Charisse Jenkins is full of faith, a wife; married to her best friend, Kurt, mother of four dynamic children, and a pastor’s wife. She is passionate in prayer and in worship, and loves to read the Word. Her desire is to see God’s people walking in the true freedom that Jesus’ blood paid for, and to live the Christian life with boldness and strength. She loves pretty things and enjoys moments of quiet and reflection.
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