Sometimes the truth makes you feel bad.

But that’s because feeling bad is often the prelude to feeling good. You see, joy isn’t a narcotic, it’s a quality of spirit. It’s a perspective. It’s the shape of your soul. When I was a young man, someone said to me, “You have a bad attitude when you fail. You better knock it off, or your life is going to be a failure no matter how much you succeed.” When I heard that, I got mad. Then I got sad and low. But then it changed me, and now I consider it one of the most precious things anyone ever said to me.

The Bible says, “Rebuke the wise, and they will love you.” (Prov 9:8) In other words, smart people know how to learn from criticism. Do you? When I was a young believer, I used to daydream about how awesome it would be to pal around with Jesus every day, like the disciples did. Then I started paying attention to how many times He rebuked them, challenged them, confronted them and bewildered them. Do you know why He did that? Because He loved them so much. Hanging out with God isn’t meant to be a warm fuzzy. It’s more like soccer practice – demanding and exhausting and ultimately satisfying. So let me invite you to let Him make you feel bad sometimes. You can’t grow if you don’t. Joy is what happens when you feel bad enough to let yourself be born again. I’ll see you on Sunday. Be true!