What Do You Celebrate?
Written February 9, 2015
I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart and tell about the wonders you have worked. God Most High, I will rejoice; I will celebrate and sing because of you.
Psalm 9:1-2 (CEV)
What do you celebrate? That is a rather simple question but when you really think about it that question goes pretty deep. You see the question seeks an answer bigger than birthdays and Christmas or grandchildren and college basketball. It asks what our innermost being rejoices in, cherishes, and where we find joy.
The psalmist here in this passage proclaims his intent to celebrate the Lord. In the Psalms we hear similar cries all the people would go and celebrate God. There are calls to go and worship and find joy in the praise of the Almighty. The encouragement and urging of these passages is that we would rejoice and celebrate all things that are good, holy, just, and godly. This proclamation and urging is important for at least two reasons.
First, what we celebrate influences our life. By the time you are reading this, this year’s Superbowl will probably have already past but that game is a good example of something that influences people. Now don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with football or enjoying sports. All I am trying to illustrate is that things like this influence a person and their desire to celebrate the event has the ability to change them. Fans will spend huge amounts of money to see the game, their schedules will be altered to go to different parties, their emotions will run high and go through many different changes throughout the course of the game. It is an event that has huge influence.
Now that can be applied to any good and wholesome or holy thing we celebrate as well. Our lives are altered by church services, children’s recitals, birthday parties, social gatherings, and any number of things. The place where this journey gets rough is when we are forced to examine the things we celebrate and ask if they are truly good or evil. You see the things that are good are beneficial to us. When we celebrate God and rejoice in Him we are influenced by His mighty power, drawn into His presence, and molded and shaped by His hand. When we celebrate that which is wholesome and good we gain a passion and taste for that which is wholesome and good. However, when we celebrate those things that are sinful and wrong we are led down a path that will ultimately separate us from what is good and Godly in our lives.
I sad example I know if is a man I knew that was a tremendous family man. He was hard working, loved his wife and his kids, but he also loved his beer. Now when I say he loved his beer I mean that he would drink until there was not a drop left in the house. Through the years there was a shift in what was celebrated because all the good things were pushed out to make room for drinking. It influenced him to the point where he lost connection with those that he loved so that he could celebrate a liquid in a glass. What we celebrate influences us so we must be diligent at examining our life because when we celebrate what is good it will draw us towards goodness but when we celebrate evil it will draw us into darkness.
Parents, watch over your kids and see what they celebrate in their music, their friends, in their activities, and in their lives. Youth, don’t let this be a job solely for your parents, take responsibility for your own lives before God and ask Him to search your life and draw out anything you might be celebrating that you shouldn’t. Adults and seniors take a good look at your life and ask what do I celebrate, and what has influence over me?
The other reason this is so important is because what we celebrate influences others. I love shooting my slingshot. Now for those that didn’t know that, the slingshot I have is not a Dennis the Menace replica. It is a steel framed slingshot with a special hand grip that holds 3/8th inch steel balls that I use as ammunition. Here’s the thing, I enjoy target shooting and I’ve gotten better at it over the years but I have also gotten quite a few friends, youth, and family members to join in my fun.
I did what we all do with what we celebrate, I shared it, promoted it, and ultimately wanted others to join in. What we celebrate influences others whether it be a slingshot, a favorite food we get others to try, or what we worship. The things we celebrate influence others. Celebration is by its very nature contagious. So friends as you read this article, what do you celebrate? What are you telling others by your actions that they need to join? Let me leave you with a piece of Scripture that I hope will guide our thoughts and minds as we contemplate the importance of what we celebrate.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Philippians 4:8 (ESV)