Filled with joy
“One filled with joy preaches without preaching.” ― Mother Teresa
So often, words are painful without being beneficial. Most of us who say harmful things aren’t deliberately trying to hurt anyone, but we end up doing it anyway. We may be trying to help someone else by pointing out where we believe the person is mistaken or wrong, but this almost always backfires, leaving everybody feeling worse.
I can think of many times when I’ve hurt people I love, or when people I love have hurt me, by saying things that were meant to help, but only ended up wounding. What was intended to make a situation better only made it worse for all involved. The best lessons don’t come from words, but examples. This doesn’t mean we should not communicate through words, but it does suggest that we should be careful how we do it, and realize that conduct, not speech, leaves a more lasting impression.
Thinking about Mother Teresa’s quote, I realized it encourages us to focus on improving our own hearts and our own thinking. If we do that, our actions will shine brightly and we won’t need to worry about correcting others with verbal instruction or criticism.
One of the most needed things we can do in this world is to radiate joy. I’m not talking about a giddy insensitivity to the sorrow others may be feeling, but a steadfast inner peace that holds out hope even when things are not going well. If we can show others through our own lives that it’s possible to choose joy in all circumstances, it will be more a powerful influence than thousands of words of advice.
What are some ways that we can “preach without preaching” by being filled with joy?
One year ago today: