Balance is required: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (Eccl 3:1, 4).
Jesus modeled celebration for us. His first miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding, endorsing the celebration and allowing the party to continue (John 2:9-11).
Jesus was also accused of being a glutton and drunkard because he ate and drank with tax collectors and sinners (Matt 11:19). It’s hard to believe that these were not joyous meals because people seemed to enjoy being in Christ’s company.
The key thing to remember in celebration is: “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31). Celebration can erode into gluttony, drunkenness, and a worship of sensual pleasures when it is separated from the purpose of bringing glory to God.
This fine line may be the reason celebration has been so misunderstood by many Christians.
Today, while we must guard against gluttony and drunkenness, we are right to celebrate weddings, baptisms, holidays, birthdays, promotions, raises, anniversaries, and other family and community gatherings.
But what makes participation in all of these celebrations a spiritual discipline is remembering that we are rejoicing in God’s good gifts.
SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES #9. SERVICE
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:23-24).
The discipline of service is a direct assault on our pride. Service requires humility. We humble ourselves before God, and take on the posture of a servant, putting God and others ahead of ourselves.
There is no greater example of a servant than Jesus. He taught that the greatest people are those who serve (Matt 23:11), that the last will be first (Mark 9:35), and that even he “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
Jesus modeled the humility and posture of a servant by washing his disciple’s feet and saying, “I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you” (John 13:15).
God gives every believer different gifts for the purpose of serving one another (1 Pet 4:10).
So we can practice the discipline of service in a myriad of ways, using whatever abilities God has given us.
SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES #10. GENEROSITY
It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).