Christian Living : Living with Enthusiasm By Joel Osteen

Article, God, dota, Joel Osteen A woman shopping in Houston happily hummed a tune as she col­lected the items she wished to purchase and approached the cashier to pay. The clerk, noticing the shopper`s effervescent personality, lust stared at the shopper for a long moment as though she was wondering what was wrong with her. Still eying her somewhat curiously, the clerk finally offered an obligatory €œHow are you doing today?

That`s all it took. The enthusiastic woman nearly bubbled over. €œHow nice of you to ask! I`m doing great. I am so blessed. I`m excited about this day!

The clerk looked at the woman quizzically for a moment, and then said, €œLet me ask you a question. Do you go to Lakewood?

€œWhy, yes I do, the shopper said. €œHow did you guess?

The clerk shook her head and smiled. €œI should have known. Every­body that comes in here like you is from Lakewood.

When I first heard that story, I chuckled, but then I thought, What a great compliment! That`s the way it should be. God`s people should be the happiest people on earth! So happy, in fact, that other people notice. Why? Because we not only have a fabulous future, we can enjoy life today! That`s what living your best life now is all about.

Live with Enthusiasm

Living your best life now is living with enthusiasm and being excited about the life God has given you. It is believing for more good things in the days ahead, but it is also living in the moment and enjoying it to the hilt!

Let`s not be naive. The pressures of modern life constantly threaten to take a toll on our enthusiasm, causing it to quickly evaporate if it is not continually replenished. You probably know some people who have lost their passion. They`ve lost their zest for life. Once they were excited about the future. They were excited about their dreams, but they`ve lost their fire.

Perhaps even in your own life you`ve seen evidence of dwindling en­thusiasm. Maybe at one time you were excited about your marriage. You were deeply in love, so full of passion, but now your marriage has become stale and stagnant. Or maybe you were excited about your job. You loved going to work, but recently, it`s become dull, routine, and boring. Maybe at one time you were excited about serving God. You couldn`t wait to get to church. You loved reading your Bible, praying, and spending time with fellow believers. But lately you`ve been think­ing, I don`t know what`s wrong with me. I don`t have any drive. I don`t have fly passion. I`m just going through the motions.

The truth is, much of life is routine, and we can become stagnant if we`re not careful. We need to stir ourselves up, to replenish our supply of God`s good gifts on a daily basis. Like the Israeli people in the wilderness who had to gather God`s miraculous provisions of manna afresh each morning, we, too, cannot get by on yesterday`s supply. We need fresh enthusiasm each day. The word enthusiasm derives from two Greek words, en theos, meaning €œinspired by God. Our lives need to be inspired, infused, filled afresh with God`s goodness every day

Make a decision that you are not going to live another day without the joy of the Lord in your life; without love, peace, and passion; with­out being excited about your life. And understand that you don`t have to have something extraordinary happening in your life to be excited. You may not live in the perfect environment or have the perfect job or the perfect marriage, but you can still choose to live each day with en­thusiasm. The Scripture says, €œNever lag in zeal, but be aglow and on fire, serving the Lord enthusiastically Do those terms describe your life? Are you aglow with God`s presence in your life? Are you on fire with enthusiasm? You can be! When you awaken in the morning, do you get up with passion to meet the day? Are you excited about your dreams? Do you go to work each day with enthusiasm?

€œWell, I don`t really like my job, Darlene complains. €œI can`t stand driving in the traffic. I don`t like the people I work around.

If that sounds familiar, you need to change your attitude. You should be grateful that you even have a job. You need to appreciate and stay excited about the opportunities God has given you. Wherever you are in life, make the most of it and be the best that you can be. If your assignment right now is to raise your children, do it with passion. Do it with enthusiasm. Don`t get up and say, €œHumph! My friends are out doing something significant, something important, something excit­ing. All I`m doing is taking care of these kids.

A mother`s work is one of the most important jobs in the whole world. But you have to keep up your enthusiasm. You may not have somebody patting you on the back or cheering you on. Your day may not be filled with extraordinary events. There are diapers to change, children to feed, clothes to be washed and pressed, housework that needs to be done; routine, mundane chores that seem to start over the moment you complete them. But in the midst of the ordinary, you can choose to have an extraordinary attitude toward your work. The Scripture tells us to do everything we do with our whole hearts, €œto never lag in zeal.

If you work outside the home, don`t give your employer a half­hearted effort. Don`t dawdle on the telephone, wasting your em­ployer`s time and money. If you are digging a ditch, don`t spend half the day leaning on your shovel; do your work with excellence and enthusiasm!

€œWell, they don`t pay me enough, anyway I shouldn`t have to work very hard.

You won`t be blessed, with that kind of attitude. God wants you to give it everything you`ve got. Be enthusiastic. Set an example.

We should be so excited, and so full of joy that other people will want what we have. Ask yourself, €œIs the way I`m living attractive and contagious? Will my attitudes, the words I speak, my expressions, the way I handle challenges and setbacks, cause anybody to want what I have? In other words, are you drawing people to God, because of your joy your friendliness, your enthusiasm, your attitude of faith? Or do you alienate people, turning them away because you`re perpetually neg­ative, discouraged, caustic, or cynical? Nobody enjoys being around a person like that. If you want to point people to God, or simply to a bet­ter way of living, have some enthusiasm and be excited about life.

I love the fictitious story of Tom Sawyer. As a young boy, Tom was told he had to go outside and paint the fence. Well, Tom didn`t feel like working; he wanted to go play with his friends. But instead of getting all negative and sour, he decided he was going to make the best of that sit­uation. He went out and started painting that fence with enthusiasm and excitement, as though he were enjoying it. His friends came around, and when they saw how much fun Tom was having, they became envi­ous of him. They said, €œHey, Tom! Would you let us try painting that fence?

€œOh, no, Tom said. €œThis is my fence. This is my project. You could never do what I`m doing. He played it up real big. And you know the story. When it was all said and done, Tom Sawyer was sitting back watching his friends do all the work, simply because he ap­proached his chore with excitement and enthusiasm.

Who knows what would happen if each of us lived with more ex­citement in our eyes, with our hearts full of passion, our faces filled with enthusiasm? Instead of dragging around, complaining that you don`t want to mow the lawn, put a smile on your face, a spring in your step, start acting as if you`re enjoying it. Maybe somebody will come along to help! If not, at least you will feel better about your work. You`ll have more energy, and you will get the job done quicker. You will be amazed at how God will pour out His favor, and how the €œbreaks will start coming your way, when you start living with en­thusiasm. Employers prefer employees who are excited about working at their companies. Your boss is much more likely to give you a raise in pay or a promotion if you have a good attitude and are excited about working, than if you just show up and do your work in a perfunctory manner. In fact, studies show that enthusiastic people often get pro­moted over other employees who are actually more qualified. The up­beat person is promoted simply because he or she has a good attitude.